Inspired: A FREE Virtual Community Poetry Writing Workshop – Sign up soon! (Space is limited)

The Rock Canyon Poets, in participation with the Utah Humanities Book Festival, presents “Inspired,” a free community poetry writing workshop offered to Utah residents in October. This year’s theme is Self-Portrait Poems. In this workshop, participants learn how to create poems using writing prompts focused on expression of the self. Offered annually in participation with the Utah Humanities Book Festival by Rock Canyon Poets & Pioneer Book, this workshop is presented in two parts virtual sessions, followed by a virtual poetry reading. Participants are encouraged to submit their poem to be included in a printed anthology and contributors will receive a free copy.

The Utah Humanities Book Festival runs from September 10 – October 31 with events in several cities throughout Utah. For more information, visit their web site

For more information, contact the Rock Canyon Poets,


The Utah Humanities Book Festival runs from September 14 – October 31 with events in several cities throughout Utah. For more information, visit their web site


Virtual events (platform TBD)

How to Sign-up:

To sign-up, email your name and contact information to Attendance is limited. Come ready to write!


  • Oct. 6, 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 pm – Workshop Part #1: share prompts, craft demonstration, writing exercises
  • Oct. 20, 2020, 7:00 – 9:00 pm – Workshop Part #2: workshop first draft of poems
  • Oct. 27, 2020, midnight – Final poem submission due for anthology
  • Nov. 10, 2020, 7:00 – 8:30 pm – Virtual anthology launch party, contributors reading, anthologies will be mailed

Co-founded by Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen and Trish Hopkinson in January, 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.

Poetry STILL Happens Utah – September 2020 online events and calls

Welcome to a special Utah monthly edition of Poetry STILL Happens, brought to you by Rock Canyon Poets. With the current state of in-person events, we’re focusing this edition on how you can still get a dose of poetry by attending online events, prompts and resources for writing your own poems, and supporting Utah poets!

Tune in on KRCL RadioActive for new Poetry STILL Happens mini-features, played throughout the month and featured on their web site and Facebook, as well as the Rock Canyon Poets web site and Facebook. Follow both to make sure not to miss a thing! The new features will include announcements and a reading from a Utah poet.

This month includes a special feature for Utah Humanities Book Festival–a celebration of books and the resulting conversations–all completely virtual this year, with several online events in September and October. Including, the 6th annual community poetry workshop Inspired, presented by the Rock Canyon Poets. The 2020 Utah Humanities Book Festival marks 23 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.

Speak for Yourself Open Mic goes virtual!

The long running open mic in downtown Provo has been hosting virtual events online in lieu of meeting in person at Enliten Bakery. You can join the Zoom event to read poetry or prose for up to 7 minutes every Thursday evening at 7:30pm. The Zoom link will be posted on the Speak for Yourself Facebook group or host Marianne Hales Harding’s Instagram about a half hour before the event starts. All Utah poets are welcome!

Read/Listen/Watch Poems based in Utah

  • Mapping Literary Utah Spotlight includes a great selection of Utah poet performances from the Bite-Size Poetry series created by former poet laureate Katharine Coles, including local favorites Rob Carney, Star Coulbrooke, Nancy Takacs and more!
  • City Art Virtual Reading Series – City Art is a reading series in Salt Lake City that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With the Pandemic, we are moving online to create the City Art Virtual Reading Series to keep people safe and feed their hunger for language and the human story. Current readings on the City Art SLC Facebook page and the City Art Virtual Reading Series on Youtube include Katharine Coles, Wyn Cooper, Lance Olsen, Marty Williams, Trish Hopkinson, and David Baker, among others. Readings keep coming, so check back in both places to see these and the new readings!

Read/Listen/Watch Poems nationally

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 Salt Lake City.

Utah Life call for poems: November/December 2020 issue will be poems on the theme of “Winter in SLC.” Deadline September 1.

Western Humanities Review – open to submissions year round.

For more national submission calls, visit

Prompts & Resources

Sheltering-In: Poems And Poetry Resources – extensive list of resources hosted by Northampton, MA Arts Council, including digital care packages, podcasts, online workshops and exercises, prompts, online poetry readings, and more!

Social/Distance Online Writing Retreat with Amanda Moore – Join Amanda Moore for her online writing retreat with craft tips, readings to inspire, submission suggestions and more!

Writing in Stressful Times: The Covid-19 Pandemic via Adele Kenny  Adele Kenny has a wonderfully inspiring poetry blog The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog chock full of over 300 writing prompts, including her most recent post entitled Prompt #349 – Writing in Stressful Times: The Covid-19 Pandemic. She gives helpful commentary, quotes, resources, and several writing exercises and/or prompts in each post.

The Rise of Quarantine Zines and How to Make Your Own – lots of history and information on how to create and share your own zine.

Writing Prompts for Stay-At-Home Writers – hosted by, shares prompts from established writers and poets throughout the week.

The Poetry Prompt Project, lessons and prompts by Joey Gould – eight well crafted poetry writing lessons and prompts for the beginner to advanced poet.


Fifty Two Poetry – includes 52 poetry prompts. “Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going.”

Poets & Writers puts out regular prompts for poetry as well as fiction and nonfiction on their Writing Prompts page. You can also subscribe to their e-newsletter and receive them right in your inbox weekly.

Ploughshares shared their favorite writing prompts of all-time in this article posted in December. Lots of great prompts in this list, including one I hope to take advantage of: “Write a dialog between your eyes and feet,” from Anastacia Tolbert.

500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing from The Learning Network. “The categorized list below touches on everything from sports to travel, education, gender roles, video games, fashion, family, pop culture, social media and more, and, like all our Student Opinion questions, each links to a related Times article and includes a series of follow-up questions. What’s more, all these questions are still open for comment by any student 13 or older.”

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.