Rock Canyon Poets reading at the Utah Arts Festival next Thursday!

Rock Canyon Poets are proud to announce they will be reading poetry for the fourth time at the Big Mouth Stage on Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. as literary artists for the Utah Arts Festival. You can read about our 2015 performance in this Daily Herald Article: Newly formed Rock Canyon Poets perform at Utah Arts Fest.

Arts Fest: Big Mouth Stage, Thursday at 5:45pm

Rock Canyon Poets boasts diverse membership, ranging from 19 to 70+ years in age with many backgrounds–including literary journal founders, editors, ex-military, business professionals, a playwright, and a periodontist.  Individually, they have received several awards and been published in magazines, anthologies, journals, chapbooks, and full-length books of poetry. Rock Canyon Poets offer poetry with the tactile clarity of tin-can messages through fuzzy strings to the ears of an audience. These poems are tumbleweeds in semi-truck grills. They get stuck in your teeth, build bridges of spun sugar, and make it possible to mount a camel without a sturdy ladder.

The Utah Arts Festival takes place Thursday, June 20 – Sunday, June 23, 2019, 12 noon to 11pm, on Library and Washington Squares in downtown Salt Lake City (200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111).

Co-founded by Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen and Trish Hopkinson in 2015, Rock Canyon Poets was established to develop camaraderie among Utah Valley poets, provide consistent workshopping and reading opportunities, and promote the disciplined study of writing poetry as a serious art form. Members meet twice a month at Pioneer Book in historic downtown Provo. The group sponsors poetry readings and an open mic on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Membership is by invitation or portfolio submission only.

For more information, contact the Rock Canyon Poets,


Open Mic Poetry Reading – Tues., June 11, 2019 from 6:30 – 8pm at Pioneer Book

RCP logo 1Join the Rock Canyon Poets for an evening of poetry. Not just any poetry—we want poetry that aches to be published, poetry that pushes the boundaries of the page, poetry that doesn’t need a performance, poetry that simply needs to be read. Bring your words in all of poetry’s traditional forms (from the sonnet to free verse) or just bring your ears for listening.

Where: Pioneer Book – 450 West Center Street, Provo

When: Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Poetry Reading

Sign up in advance or just come and read!
These events are very casual and social. If you’d like to RSVP, add your name in a comment below, or email Each poet may read for up to 5 minutes.

Inspired reading for blog

Want to know more about Rock Canyon Poets? Follow our blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Open mic poetry readings happen the second Tuesday of every month at Pioneer Book in downtown Provo. Click here for more information on events.

Poetry Happens – Utah June 2019 events and calls

Welcome to the Utah monthly edition of Poetry Happens, brought to you by Rock Canyon Poets. Each edition will include poetry happenings and other announcements coming up in Utah, with highlights specifically for Utah county. And tune in on KRCL Radioactive the first Wednesday of every month for announcements and feature poet reading!


Rock Canyon Poets poetry reading & open mic every 2nd Tuesday at Pioneer Book in Provo, this month on June 11, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Saturday Night Slam Series, check their Facebook page for monthly dates, from 7 – 9 PM at the BYU Wilkinson Student Center in Provo

Every Thursday – Speak for Yourself spoken word open mic at Enliten Cafe in Provo, at 7:30 pm


Recurring Events

Sugar Slam, every 2nd Thursday at Watchtower Cafe in SLC at 8 PM.

Helicon West open mic for poets and writers, the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month: This month, Thursday, June 27, from 7 – 9 PM at Logan Library.

Salt City Slam – last Monday of every month at 8:00 pm at Vertical Diner in Salt Lake City.

Events this Month

WordFest at the Utah Arts Festival!

Don’t miss four days of poetry, slam poetry, cowboy poetry, fiction, non-fiction, storytelling, writing workshops, the IronPen competition and of course, so much art!

Poetry Slams

Back by popular demand, the Poetry Slam competitions are back with team and indie slams and expand to include a high school slam featuring winners of the Utah State High School Championship.

Women Who Rock Day

New this year, we’re hosting Women Who Rock Day on Friday at the Big Mouth Stage, featuring several women performers, including poet Star Coulbrooke, authors Nan Seymour and Beatrice Washburn, cowboy poets JoLynne Kirkwood and Sam DeLeuuw, and storyteller Lynn Wing.

Cowboy Poets

Some of the state’s most well-known and loved cowboy poets, including C.R. Wood who is considered the patriarch of cowboy poetry in many circles, Sam DeLeeuw, and more. Plus, be sure to catch 15-year-old cowboy poet, Thatch Elmer.

WordFest in the Kids Art Yard

Insects love poetry! Come learn how to write a short poem about your favorite bug and display it in the Kids Art Yard. Ladybugs and spiders, bees and centipedes, oh my! 1:00 – 4:00pm each day of the festival courtesy of Rock Canyon Poets.


For only 25 cents, get a poem from well-known Utah poets, including our poet laureates.

CALLS FOR POEMS (Utah-based)

Provo Poetry POEMBALL Machine – Send in up to 10 short poems to be included in the POEMBALL Machines in Provo and SLC.

7th Annual Sor Juana Prize for Poems and Short Stories in Spanish – $100 in cash prizes will be awarded for two poems and two short stories written in Spanish in two categories (8 prizes in total). Deadline is May 20, 2019.

Western Humanities Review – open to submissions year round

If you have an event or announcement related to poetry in Utah, please contact us here and we will include it in our next edition.