Elissa feels lucky to call Telluride home (but don't we all!).  She moved here in 2008. Came to ski, stayed for the library, the famous WPL bumper sticker was actually based on her life. She did stay for what the library represents, which to her is the curiosity, kindness, and creativity of all the unique souls that make up the vibrant Telluride community. She was introduced to slam poetry in college and has been writing ever since. Recently, she was selected as the poet laureate of San Miguel County.  In her free time, she enjoys performing with Telluride Theatre and is also an avid mountain biker, rock and ice climber, rafter and skier.  When she grows up, she hopes to be a river otter.

Her advice to fellow artists, "Hang out with kiddos more often, its my favorite way to get inspired.  Their perspective is as fresh as morning dew glistening on the hindquarters of a voluptuous marmot damsel basking in the sunlight of another new day.  Also, believe in yourself, that's the hard part, don't ever say anything negative about yourself in your head or out loud.  Life's too short for that nonsense."

Here is Haiku to You with Elissa Dickson.

When the day is right
What makes living the most bright
Outside and inside

On my 88th birthday
There will be ice cream, food fights, and forts of sturdy aspens studded with arborglyphs, ancient symbols of love in every language of the world.
There will be soulshine, homemade costumes, and art made of finger paint so goopy technicolor vibrant we’ll put the LUST back in illustration.
There will be
dance and shimmy,
music and song,
wisdom and wordplay.
There will be friends and family
And there will be no regrets.
Shake out the sheets of your soul and come laugh with me.
This party is not one to miss.


Be it nice or true
What would they say about you
Your friends and your foes

On my best day
If I’m talking junk to you, it means I love you more than you can know.
If I bring you a gift from the freebox, see above and multiply by a million.
I have a knack for nicknames, bestowing them like colorful patches of love upon the capes of my loved ones, my super heroes.
I am the swirling center of the silliness galaxy.
(That last line is a direct quote from a friend, lest it sound self-aggrandizing)
On my worst day
People speak of the bitter taste of regret,
But I am not a bitter person.
My regret tastes like deep thick tarry sadness,
Glomming onto everything beautiful and whispering,
“It’s all your fault”
Bruises of painful purple soaking outward,
Coloring my insides quiet
As the choked on words I dare not speak
For fear of making them true.

When your tummy growls
Is it salt or is it sweet
The treat you might seek

We take turns, my pops and I.
Turning the tarnished hand crank of our ancient ice cream maker.
We always make peach
In honor of papa's Georgia childhood.
Things taste better when you work for them.
One golden creamy scoop in each our bowls,
We take the first bite together


Just for guessing fun
Your favorite random fact
Either truth or lie

Dragons eat booger pie,
Wouldn’t you if you were I?


What is true for you
Words of wisdom or of love
To give Telluride

The mountains white-teethed with anticipation welcome her arrival.
The full moon crests
Kissing alight each tree.
Reminding me that radiance is not a state reserved only for the day.
And joy not a feeling reserved only for the sunny times.
And tell those you love that you love them anytime, anywhere, everyday, every way, and always.