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Hello, my name is Valerie A. Szarek. I’m an award-winning performance poet and musician, energy healer, Shamanic Practitioner and ceremonialist. I teach soul-centered writing workshops in my home in Louisville, Colorado and online, and host poetry events around the region. I also own and operate Breezy Mountain Leather and have been a leather-working artisan since 1973.  Spirit has handed me these gifts to share. My poetry is an invitation to go on a journey and to return a bit different.  I see the moon different, shadows as friends. (Soar Ready). We are in this walk together.

I navigate this world as a Poet and find the doors open.

I swapped poems with the IRS agent during my audit, and recited a couple to the local cop on night patrol.  He got out of his Ford SUV and put on his COVID mask.  He asked if it was a trick and I said no, it’s a gift.  He loved them and asked to purchase my book.  I recited Soar Ready to the curmudgeonly washing-machine salesman at Home Depot, who sobbed in the aisle before writing up my sale.  Edward Jones investment agents know my poems as does my personal trainer at the gym when I’m using the Leg Press Machine. The doctor, therapist, accountant, deli-clerk and veterinarian all know my poetry. Most of them cry, remembering what is important,  knowing they have been seen, knowing we are walking this human life as family. Remembering ourselves, again. Remembering something beyond words, and ordinary life. See each other. My passion as a Poet is to help us see and remember each other as part of the integral web of all life. Empowered and hopeful.  Heart-centered and returning to beauty and magic.

“You will never forget the first time you hear Valerie A. Szarek read one of her poems.”

Ginger C.
My Story

I’ve been a student at The Jack Kerouac School of Disenbodied Poetics at Naropa University every summer since 2008, and sign up for every poetry/literary festival and workshop I can find. I love pushing edges so my work remains fresh and experimental. I was the performance poet at The International Young People’s Leadership Conference. I’ve performed at the Karen Chamberlain poetry festival in Carbondale, Colorado, Ziggies, Denver Poetry Festival, Telluride Lit Fest, Aspen reading series, and the Mercury Cafe Podeo.

AWARDS: The Blissfest POET OF THE YEAR Award in October, 2018.

Letters to an Unknown God” (poem): first place in 2016 in the National Poetry Federation (NFSPS)Winner’s Circle contest. (My prize $$ purchased this iPad I’m typing this on.)

Colorado Authors League Best Poem Award 2021 & 2022

This Winter’s Day; Tribute to Mary Oliver“: Colorado Author’s League Award 2020

Signs of Life” (book) : EVVY award, & finalist for the Colorado Author’s League award “Signs of Life“: (book) received 5 stars from The Writer’s Digest

Presence and an open heart are my most important values. I honor all of you who choose to journey with me. I take this honor seriously, and if you trust me and go with me, I promise you a safe return.

“I write to capture God in my hands, weave her into a poem, and read it to you.”

I teach writing workshops titled: “Writing Into Sanity,” both online and in my home in Louisville, Colorado. They are guided journeys with your pens, community, the drum and rattles, and whatever theme has presented itself. We write to locate ourselves within the seasons, important astronomical events, and local and world events that impact us.  We work with our ancestors, metaphor, language, and guided imagery.

I find writing to be a powerful tool for most everyone, especially when the world is moving so fast and when times are challenging.  How do we return to breath in a pandemic?  Sort language when we hear the news in sound bites meant to influence our beliefs, our very realities?  How do we anchor in to what we value and know to be true?  Surrendering to the page is like the the wise Sage holding high the lantern in the cave, illuminating the pathways we didn’t even know were there.  They are the jeweled grail that leads back to center.  Walk with me?  Send me an e-mail and let me know what’s on your mind!