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Poetry tour to make a stop in Pagosa Springs

Three Albuquerque-based poets offer compelling new work through a series of charged performances, combining the release of their new books with a mission to collect modern works for a massive library of contemporary poetics.

Taking the name of their book tour from the similarly titled “Speak Easy Tangents” arts collaborative they founded in Albuquerque, the poets of the Off the Page On a Tangent! Book Tour have developed a strong reputation among literary circles as individual artists and organizers. Now, with their book release tour heading north, they are prepared to bring that notoriety, as well as a healthy dose of razor sharp performance and precision craft to Pagosa Springs. Along the way, the poets hope to lay the groundwork for a cultural arts exchange program that aims to amass the world’s largest collection of modern poetry as well.

As ambitious as that goal may sound, Jessica Helen Lopez, Zachary Kluckman and Katrina K. Guarascio are not artists who take their vision lightly. Between them, these poets have already accomplished more than many writers. Lopez, whose new book “Always Messin’ with Them Boys” (West End Press, 2011) will be released during this tour, is a member of the socially engaged Macondo Foundation started by Sandra Cisneros, as well as being a member of several nationally ranked poetry slam teams and newly appointed Director of the Poets in the Schools program in New Mexico. Guarascio, whose second book, “They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore” (Casa de Snapdragon, 2011) is also premiering during the tour, is the founder and coach of two high school poetry teams, including several members of this year’s Albuquerque Youth Poetry Slam Team and a highly sought reader. Kluckman, whose new book “Those Dust Shouldered Ghosts” will be available during the tour, is the founder and Director of the world’s only Slam Poet Laureate program, an award -winning organizer of several poetry festivals, including the forthcoming Albuquerque Poetry festival as well as being an editor for two globally distributed and a poet whose work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry as well as appearing on over 500 radio stations worldwide, as well as in print.

The Off the Page On a Tangent! Tour descends on Pagosa Springs on June 28 with a special performance at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Tickets are available in advance through the box office for $10 per person. Details of the tour dates and the Cultural Arts Exchange Program can be found on the group’s website at’www.wix.com/physicalpoet/tangenttour. For further information, or to arrange donations of books or recordings to the program,contact Zachary Kluckman at zgkluckman@Msn.com or by phone at (505) 712-1475.

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