Poetry Happens: It’s National Poetry Month! April, 2022 in-person & virtual events + calls for poems

Welcome to the Utah-focused list of Poetry STILL Happens, brought to you by Rock Canyon Poets. We’re now keeping a running list that will be updated regularly to help you get a dose of poetry by attending both in-person and online events, prompts and resources for writing your own poems, and submission calls.

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.

If you have an event or announcement related to poetry in Utah, please contact us here.


April is National Poetry Month! #NaPoMo – Prompts galore & other ways you can participate…

April 2022 marks the 26th annual celebration of poets and poetry and it’s not too late to make a plan for poetry month! Whether you want to sign up to write a poem a day or unofficially just plan to crank out some poetry in April, there are plenty of prompts and resources to keep you going strong all month. And that’s not all that’s going on either. Note: Check back often, since I’ll be updating this list as I come across other resources to participate in poetry month.

National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. Read more about the creation of National Poetry Month here at Poets.org. And, click here for a complete list of national, virtual happenings.

Support Utah writers: Attend Indie Bookstore Day readings on April 30

Utah@125 – a collection of 125-word essays and poems to celebrate this state – will host eight simultaneous readings (plus a ninth bonus reading) on Indie Bookstore Day.

This event is thought to be the first-ever simultaneous reading at bookstores across the state. Among the readers will be former Utah poet laureates, award-winning slam poets, prominent Utah journalists, as well as award-winning fiction writers, poets, and essayists.

More than 40 writers, five in each location, will read 125-word pieces at six Utah bookstores at 3 p.m. The simultaneous readings will take place on Saturday, April 30 in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Sandy, and Provo bookstores. Plus: There will be a virtual Zoom reading at 3 p.m. and an additional Salt Lake City reading at 5 p.m. at Weller Book Works.

All of the Utah@125 readings — of essays and poems published as part of the state’s Thrive125 celebration — are free. Join the events at 3 p.m. or catch the 5 p.m. reading. 

As a celebration of Utah’s writers and bookstores, this project is sponsored by the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, Utah Arts & Museums, Torrey House Press, and Utah’s independent bookstores.

PARTICIPATING STORES:

  1. 3 p.m. > Logan’s The Book Table, 29 S. Main Street.
  2. 3 p.m. > Ogden’s Queen Bee Giftery, 270 25th Street
  3. 3 p.m. > Salt Lake City’s Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East
  4. 3 p.m. > Salt Lake City’s The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East
  5. 3 p.m. > Sandy’s The Printed Garden, 9445 S. Union Square, Suite A
  6. 3 p.m. > Park City’s Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St, Park City
  7. 3 p.m. > Provo’s Pioneer Books, 450 W. Center Street
  8. 3 p.m. > On Zoom. Visit TorreyHouse.org for Zoom registration
  9. 5 p.m. > Salt Lake City’s Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square

Other In-Person Poetry Events

  • Garden Poetry Walk – Red Butte Garden from April 1 – May 31, celebrates this unique literary art by hosting the poems written by our eleven local poetry contest winners in stand-up display boxes placed throughout the Garden. Look for them along your path. We feature other seasonal poems throughout the year. Info on this year’s contest below.
  • Speak for Yourself open mic has gone hybrid, every Thursday of the month via Zoom or in-person the 3rd Thursday of every month at Enliten Bakery attached to Gurus in downtown Provo.
  • Helicon West features the USU 2022 Creative Writing Contest Winners, April 28, 2022, 7:00 pm, CacheARTS Thatcher-Young Mansion, 35 W 100 S, Logan, UT, Helicon West is free, uncensored, and open to the public. An open mic will follow featured readers. Caffe Ibis coffee will be served.
  • Utah@125 Readings for Indie Bookstore Day

Virtual Poetry Events

  • 30 Poems in 30 Days Competition – Write 30 poems based on daily prompts throughout the month of April. Winners will have a chapbook of their original poems designed and produced by the CWC. Registration required by April 30. Recommended fee is $5, but this can be waived at registration. On April 1, 2022 at 10 a.m., the first of the 30 writing prompts will be posted on the CWC’s Facebook (@CommunityWritingCenter) and Instagram (@slcc_cwc) accounts. Each morning, a new prompt will be posted.
  • Speak for Yourself open mic has gone hybrid, every Thursday of the month via Zoom or in-person the 3rd Thursday of every month at Enliten Bakery attached to Gurus in downtown Provo.
  • Utah Poetry Festival, in-person and virtual events April 2 – 16, 2022. See details below.
  • April 8-9th: Utah State Poetry Society Conference, virtual. Information here.
  • Anne Newman Sutton Weeks Poetry Series – The 2021–22 readings, followed by Q&A, are held on Zoom on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. MT. Participants must register in advance. The debut of the 2022 issue of Westminster College’s literary magazine, ellipsis…literature and art, which features contributors and staff, will take place on Friday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 23rd-25th: Pre-Quill Conference (hybrid), Utah League of Writers, UMOCA, SLC. Information here.
  • April 29th, 7 PM: Utah State Youth Poetry Slam, virtual.

Utah Poetry Festival

The Utah Poetry Festival is free and open to the public. Virtual events can be watched live or streamed later via the Utah Humanities YouTube channel. In-person events will strictly follow CDC-recommended protocol for Covid-19. All virtual events will be closed captioned by AI MediaRegistration will open in February. View the schedule to register. Festival attendees must register for each event they wish to attend.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2nd

1-2 PM Red Butte Poetry Walk and Workshop. Write poems in Red Butte Garden with Utah Poet Laureate, Paisley Rekdal. A poetry workshop for teens on up: writing prompts provided. Free, in-person and outside. Register with Red Butte Gardens.

4-5:15 PM Celebration of Chapbooks. An in-person reading to celebrate new and recent chapbooks by Robert Baldwin, Aaron Cance, Melissa SalgueroLisa Roullard, Susan Sample, Natalie TaylorCandace Thomas, and Sunni Brown Wilkinson. The King’s English patio. Masks required for entry into the store.

Ongoing virtual event: Make your own chapbook! A virtual tutorial on chapbook-making by Michelle Macfarlane available on the Utah Humanities YouTube Channel starting April 2nd.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

7-8 PM MST Headline Reading with Jay Hopler, Kimberly Johnson and Nan Seymour. Hosted by Paisley Rekdal – A headline reading to celebrate new and recent books by Utah poets Jay HoplerKimberly Johnson and Nan Seymour.

SATURDAY, APRIL 16

ROUNDTABLE: 9:30-10:15 AM MST

Poetry Out Loud vs Poetry Slam: A Teacher’s Roundtable

In this panel for high school teachers, organizers will discuss what divides and unites the Utah High School Poetry Slam Initiative and Poetry Out Loud. We will discuss strategies for bolstering the strengths of both programs and bringing together these communities for the benefit of all students. With Jean Tokuda Irwin, Amanda Hurd and Sally Wilde. Moderated by Willy Palomo.

CRAFT TALK 1: 10:30-11:15 AM MST

Artist Books and Re-Thinking the Page

What happens when poets combine image with text, or treat the poem (and book) as a visual and conceptual object, not just a literary one? From poetic experiments with time and collage to radical documentary or “uncreative writing” projects, this craft discussion around book arts and writing will make you re-think the material possibilities of the page. With Kathryn CowlesNathan Hawke and Craig Dworkin. Moderated by Paisley Rekdal.

CRAFT TALK 2: 11:30-12:15 PM MST

Line and Stanza

Poetic structure both excites and vexes poets at every stage of development, presenting the glorious challenge of working out how the logic of the poem’s sentences will interact with the competing logic of its structure.  This session features four poets who offer perspectives on the kinds of questions poets ask as they balance the demands of form (even in so-called “free verse”) against the story the poem unfolds.  With Michael LaversJohn TalbotMeg Day. Moderated by Kimberly Johnson. *This panel will have an ASL interpreter.

CRAFT TALK 3: 2-2:45 PM MST

Multi-Modal Poems

Poets increasingly work in multi-modal forms, combining text not only with image but sound, video, animation, mapping technologies and more. In this panel, we’ll explore the many ways that poetry has begun to merge with other forms of digital, visual and sonic technologies, expanding our ideas of what a poem is. With Ben GunsbergDanielle SusiLaura StottAlex Caldiero. Moderated by Lisa Bickmore.

CRAFT TALK 4: 3-3:45 PM MST

Organizing a Poetry Manuscript with Jason OlsenLance LarsenCindy King. Moderated by Jennifer Tonge

APRIL 16th, 7-8 PM MST Headline Reading with Danielle Dubrasky, Nancy Takacs, and John Belk. Hosted by Paisley Rekdal – A headline reading to celebrate new and recent books by Utah poets Danielle DubraskyNancy Takacs, and John Belk.

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!

Read/Listen/Watch Poems Nationally


CALLS FOR POEMS (Utah-based)

Prompts & Resources

MORE POETRY PROMPTS

  • 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.”

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