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San Miguel County Poet Laureate Elissa Dickson will perform in January again this year as part of the Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club series.

“Her performance last year was riveting,” explained Poetry Club co-director Art Goodtimes. “She’s a local favorite. I’m expecting a full house.”

The reading begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 23rd at the Telluride Arts Gallery Office, 135 West Pacific, across the street from the Wilkinson Library entrance.

Elissa is the adult programs coordinator at the Wilkinson Public Library. Her love for poetry began when she was in college at the University of Michigan and has continued to grow ever since.

In her free time, she enjoys performing and dancing with Telluride Theatre and is also an avid mountain biker, rock and ice climber, whitewater rafter and skier. She thinks nature and ice cream are the coolest. When she grows up, she hopes to be a river otter.

Poetry Club announcements are followed by the featured performance. Then, following a short break, the gourd is passed and everyone has a chance to read a poem or two (their own, or one from a favorite poet) that speaks to the theme, “Animals.”

Coming up next month are the dynamic Naturita Creek duo Daiva Chesonis & Craig Childs Feb. 20 (Theme: Birth). The Traveling Gourds Tour will have its final appearance in March with Jennifer Rane Hancock of Grand Junction. Then, after taking our usual summer break, we will continue our regular Poetry Club readings in Telluride starting in September.

Simultaneously, we will be exploring special guest readings throughout the year, with planning underway for a Western Slope visit from California’s Claire Blotter in April. In May we will host the winners of the Fischer Prize poetry competition at the Telluride Literary Arts Festival.

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