Poet, writer Jill Burkey is new Artist in Residence

JIll Burkey, Artist in Residence

Jill Burkey, a poet, writer, and editor, is the new 970West Artist in Residence at Mesa County Libraries.

During her residency, which lasts through April 18, Burkey will host weekly Meet and Greets from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the 970West Studio, 502 Ouray Ave. (across from the Central Library). Meet and Greets are open on a drop-in basis with no registration required. Stop by and see what she’s working on!

Burkey also will host several all-ages programs, including Write Your Own Greeting Card (6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Central Library), Color Poems (6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at the Central Library), and Poetry Postcards (6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the Central Library). No writing experience is necessary to enjoy the events! No registration is required for the programs.

In her poems, which circle around the themes of nature, relationships, history, and spirituality, Burkey explores the larger existential questions of humanity, and makes connections between life, the natural world, and the passage of time.

Burkey grew up on a three-generation cattle ranch in western Nebraska and began writing in high school. She earned a B.A. in English, business administration, and secondary education at Nebraska Wesleyan University and has taught hundreds of elementary and high school students poetry and writing as a writer-in-residence with the Colorado Humanities’ Writers-in-the-Schools program.

Burkey’s poems have been called warm, complex, and intensely satisfying, and they have appeared in Sixfold, Pilgrimage Magazine, Paddlefish, Soundings Review, Front Range Review, Grand Valley Magazine, IMPROV Anthology of Colorado Poets, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and others. Two of her poems were included in “The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets” by Backwaters Press, which received the Nebraska Book Award for anthology.  Burkey’s work also won the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and other awards and honorable mentions. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry, “Enough.”

Learn more about Burkey at jillburkey.com.



Applications are open for local artists 18 and older who wish to become 970West Artists in Residence during 2022.

Selected artists have exclusive access to dedicated space in the 970West Studio, present art programs to the public, and receive a $500 stipend from the Mesa County Libraries Foundation.

The program will accept two artists in 2022 for terms of approximately 14 weeks each.

Artists in a variety of mediums are considered. Applications must be submitted online by 8 p.m. Jan. 24.

Applications are accepted online only. To find the application form and important information about applying, please visit the Artist in Residence Application Page at mesacountylibraries.org.

Posted in 970West, Artist in Residence, General, Library News, Programs/Classes.

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