Poetry Happens: In-person & virtual events + calls for poems & Utah Arts Fest picks!

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.

Utah Arts Festival – Wasatch IronPen Literary Competition

15th Wasatch IronPen Writing Marathon, in which artists of the written word face off in a 24-hour writing competition! Adult and Youth writers of all experience levels can participate in one of three genres (Fiction, Non-fiction or Poetry) or can take on the IronPen Ultra and write in all three!

Writers of all experience levels can register for the marathon at the SLCC Community Writing Center (located at Library Square, Suite 8) or register online. Participants must register by Friday, June 24th, at 6:00 p.m. Registration for the IronPen is $10 for one genre (Fiction, Non-fiction, or Poetry) or $15 for the IronPen Ultra (all three genres).

After receiving the prompt on Friday, June 24th at 6:00 p.m., writers will have exactly 24 hours to write. Submissions are due Saturday, June 25th at 6:00 p.m. Visit CWC website or call 801-957-2192 for more details.

Utah Arts Festival (6/23 – 6/26) – Poetry Picks

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.
  • Katharine Coles | (Solve for) X poetry reading at The King’s English Bookshop, Thursday, June 2, 2022 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
  • S’more Poetry is a new poetry slam event the first Friday of every month at 7pm at 213 S 1200 E in Provo in the backyard. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and you can sign up to perform via Instagram or Facebook.
  • 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 is free, uncensored, and open to the public. This summer, Helicon West is pleased to announce all open mic nights on May 26th, June 23rd, and July 28th. 
  • Juneteenth Festival, June 18, 4–9 pm, Library’s Viridian Event Center, Poetry Slam at 6:30 pm
  • Live Open Mic Night for Poets and Writers, presented by The Book Bungalow at The Book Bungalow, Saint George UT, held every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm
  • Kanab Writers Conference – July 28 – 30, 2022, Kanab Center, 20 North 100 East Kanab, Kanab, UT 84741
  • Poesía castellana | Spanish Poetry Share, July 11 @ 10:00 am – August 8 @ 5:00 pm at the Park City Library. Calling all Spanish-speaking poets! Add your original Spanish language poetry to our community display. Or, take home a ready-made quote of bilingual poetry to enjoy with friends and loved ones. Poetas de habla hispana: agregue su poesía original en castellano a nuestra exhibición comunitaria. O llévese una cita de poesía bilingüe para compartir entre amigos y seres queridos.
  • Andrea Gibson at Metro Music Hall, Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 7:00PM MDT – Andrea Gibson is an American poet and activist from Calais, Maine, who has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 1999. Their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform, and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society.

Virtual Poetry Events

  • 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.

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)

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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