Poetry Happens + Book Fest! – Utah September 2019 events and calls

Welcome to the new 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!

This month includes a special feature for Utah Humanities Book Festival–a celebration of books and the resulting conversations–with a long list of events all across Utah running from September 14 – October 31.

The 2019 Utah Humanities Book Festival marks 22 years of improving Utah communities through reading, literature, and conversations with authors and each other.

Visit the Book Festival Calendar to see upcoming events. More authors and related events are being added until the book festival begins, so check back often. You can also Download the Printed Program.


UPCOMING EVENTS for Utah County

Rock Canyon Poets poetry reading & open mic every 2nd Tuesday at Pioneer Book in Provo, this month on September 10, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, featuring Michael Lavers.

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

Inspired: A FREE Community Poetry Writing Workshop registration is open! Rock Canyon Poets and Pioneer Book, in participation with the Utah Humanities Book Festival, presents “Inspired,” a free community poetry writing workshop in October. This year’s theme is Persona Poems and workshops are on Tuesday nights on Oct. 1 and 15. To sign-up, email your name and contact information to  rockcanyonpoets@gmail.com. Seating is limited.

UPCOMING EVENTS for Utah 

City Art Reading Series, typically the first three Wednesdays of every month at the Salt Lake City Downtown Library. Check their Facebook Events page for updates.

  • 9/18 – City Art is pleased to welcome Dan O’Brien and Natalie Young in the Special Collections room of the City Library.
  • 9/25 – City Art is pleased to host poets Mario Chard and Danielle Susi at the Special Collections room of the Salt Lake City Public Library at 7pm.

Sugar Slam every 2nd Thursday at Watchtower Cafe in SLC at 8 PM. Sugar Slam is excited to bring Brick Cave’s Summer Tour to feature before our first qualifying slam for NPS 2020! Open mic beforehand. Sept. 12.

Helicon West open mic for poets and writers, Thursday, Sept. 13 from 7 – 9 PM at Logan Library.

Haikus, Modernism and Stanton MacDonald-Wright – “Haiga Portfolio” (1965-1966) blends Eastern and Western influences, pairing vibrant modernist paintings with haikus written by some of Japan’s most influential poets. Presented by Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan UT, exhibit runs from August 24 – June 30, 2020. 

Tom Sleigh & Alan Shapiro, Sept. 19, 2019 at 7 PM, Art Barn / Finch Lane Gallery in SLC in conjunction with Book Fest.

Poetry Reading by Camille T. Dungy and Jason Olsen – The Anne Newman Sutton Weeks Poetry Series, Sept. 24 at 7 PM at Westminster College.

Paisley Rekdal Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal will perform portions of West: A Translation and discuss the research that went into the documentary work at Ogden Union Station on Thursday, September 26th at 7:00 PM. West is Rekdal’s new book-length poem about the transcontinental railroad commissioned by the Utah Arts Council and Spike 150. Utah Humanities Book Festival, click here for a full schedule of events through Oct.

Danielle Dubrasky, Sept. 26, 2019 at 7 PM, Logan Library in conjunction with the Book Fest.

Christopher Nelson; Betsy Sholl, Sept. 26, 2019 at 7 PM, Westminster College in conjunction with Book Fest.

Katharine Coles, Sept. 28, 2019 at 4 PM, Desert Hive Supply in Ogden in conjunction with Book Fest.

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.

Peculiar Journal – Utah-based literary journal for LGBTQ+ writers and artists. Deadline: Dec. 8 2019.

Western Humanities Review – open to submissions year round

Free Poetry Class – Open to the community and students at Westminster, click here to apply for a free semester poetry class beginning in January 2019 with visiting poet Robin Becker. Deadline to apply is Oct. 15, 2019.


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.

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Poetry reading + open mic featuring Michael Lavers – Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 @ 6:30pm

Rock Canyon Poets and Pioneer Book are please to present Utah poet Michael Lavers. The event begins with an open mic at 6:30pm and runs until 8:00pm at Pioneer Book (450 W. Center) in historic downtown Provo on Tuesday, September 13, 2019.

Michael Lavers is the author of After Earth, published by the University of Tampa Press. His poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, 32 Poems, The Hudson Review, Best New Poets 2015, TriQuarterly, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. He has been awarded the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize, the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, and the Michigan Quarterly Review Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets. Together with his wife, the writer and artist Claire Åkebrand, and their two children, he lives in Provo, Utah, and teaches poetry at Brigham Young University.

Lavers visits Pioneer Book as a guest of the Rock Canyon Poets and Pioneer Book. The reading and open mic are open to the general public.

For more information, contact the Rock Canyon Poets, rockcanyonpoets@gmail.com.

Where: Pioneer Book – 450 West Center Street, Provo

When: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm