Local residents attend a writing workshop held by Moab Poets & Writers. The nonprofit group will be holding its bimonthly Poetry and Conversation gathering on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at the Grand County Library. [Courtesy photo]

What better way to spend a winter evening than to gather for a cup of hot tea or chocolate and listen to poetry?

Moab Poets & Writers are holding their bimonthly “Poetry and Conversation” gathering on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 6 to 7:45 p.m., at the Grand County Library, a co-sponsor of the event.

This month’s theme is “Winter Poems,” led by member Diana Adams.

Participants will read works from various traditional poets. Although she “dabbles” in poetry writing herself, Adams said she plans to read two poems by her favorite poet, Mary Oliver.

Anyone is welcome to share poetry reflecting the wintertime theme. Adams recommends visiting the website American Poetry Foundation for ideas. There, you can type in a topic, or the name of a known poet, or read the website’s poem of the day.

“We’ll share some of our favorite winter poetry,” Adams said. “It’s always quite entertaining.”

The Moab Poets & Writers group consists of about 24 members, according to Marcy Hafner, a member and local nature writer who writes “Hiking Happenings” for Moab Happenings.

Anyone can join the writers group. Poetry and Conversation, held every other month, is also open to the public.

The nonprofit group holds writing workshops, provides writers’ resources and special events throughout the year.

“Our goal is to share writing and encourage writers to write,” Adams said.

Barbara Galler started the Moab Poetry and Conversation gatherings with the “goal to get more poetry out to the community,” she said.

“We have a lot of art, outdoors activities, music – I had the idea: why not meet once a month, with different moderators to share poetry,” Galler said.

“In my 20s I very much wanted to be a poet,” said Galler, 84, who said she grew up in Provo in a conservative Mormon family.

After graduating from college she took a Greyhound bus to New York City to immerse herself in the arts culture. Her writing got waylaid, however, after she married, had a child, divorced and become a single mother.

Then, about six years ago, she started writing again – after 50 years.

“It was always there in my heart,” Galler said.

Galler has published several poetry chapbooks that she distributes to friends who like poetry.

“It’s a neat way to get your work out to the community,” she said.

She recently finished a collection of poetry titled “When Girls Were Girls” – poems about how things have changed in her lifetime, Galler said.

Open mic sessions are held on alternate months from Poetry and Conversation events. At open mic gatherings, people bring their original works, which can be prose or poetry on any theme.

The next open mic session will be held on Feb. 27. Networking will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by readings at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Wake and Bake Café, 59 S. Main St., in the Eddie McStiff’s Plaza.

“Sometimes people bring songs and sing them,” Adams said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”

For more information, visit www.moabpoetsandwriters.org.

Jan. 21 Poetry & Conversation event features winter theme

What: Poetry & Conversation: Winter Poem

When: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 6-7:45 p.m.

Where: Grand County Library – large meeting room, 257 E. Center St.

Information: 435-259-6197

Cost: Free