Poetry Happens: 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 Poetry STILL Happens streaming recordings available on their website and Facebook, as well as the Rock Canyon Poets website 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.


In-Person On-going Poetry Events

In-Person Upcoming Poetry Events

  • Antelope Island Spider Fest 2022 presented by Antelope Island State Park at Antelope Island State Park, Syracuse UT, Sat. Aug. 6 at 10am. Let’s get to know our eight-legged friends who call Antelope Island home! Join us for a day full of spider-themed presentations, crafts, guided walks, community science, poetry, photography, and more to learn about these fascinating residents of the island. Park entrance fees apply.
  • 2nd Annual African Heritage Festival presented by University Place Orem at University Place Orem, Orem UT, Sat. Aug. 12 at 2pm. Come learn about the African Culture at the 2nd annual African Heritage Festival. The festival will be located in The Orchard at University Place. There will be live music, dance & drums, poetry, arts & crafts, food, workshops & more.
  • Teen Poetry Contest Celebration presented by Salt Lake City Public Library at Salt Lake City Public Library Main Branch, Salt Lake City UT, Sat. Aug. 13 at 1pm. Hear the winning poems from the 2022 Teen Poetry Contest. Please join us to celebrate the young poets of the second annual Teen Poetry Contest! Light refreshments will be provided.
  • Sanpete County Fair 2022 presented by Sanpete County at Sanpete County Fairgrounds, Manti UT Aug. 20 – 27. Sanpete County Fair offers something fun for the whole family! We have rodeos, 4-H events and open exhibits, Antique car and tractor shows, a carnival, cowboy poetry, demolition derby, talent shows, fun on the farm, a fun run, HomeTown Hero competition, Hypnotists, Miss Sanpete pagents, mud games, motorcross, a parade, pie eating contests, reading contests, and other great sports and events featured every year!
  • Rio Cortez | Golden Axe presented by The King’s English Bookshop at The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City UT Sat. Aug. 27 at 1pm. TKE is thrilled to present an in-person event featuring NYT bestselling & award-winning author and poet, Rio Cortez, who will read from and discuss her collection of poetry, Golden Ax. This event is free and open to the public and will take place on the bookshop patio.
  • David Lee | Rusty Barbed Wire: Selected Poems presented by The King’s English Bookshop at The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City UT Sat. Sept. 24 at 2pm. The King’s English Bookshop proudly welcomes Utah’s first poet laureate, David Lee, for a reading of his new book of poetry, Rusty Barbed Wire: Selected Poems. This event is free and open to the public and will take place on the bookshop patio.
  • Boulder Cliff Notes Writing Conference and Book Festival presented by Boulder Arts Council at Boulder Town Hall, Boulder UT, Sept. 29 – Oct. 2. Readings in the evenings are free to the public.  Full conference is $300 including 6 meals.
  • The Pumpkin Giant by Mary E. Wilkins; adapted for the stage by Reuben Fox and Joanne M. Parker This funny fairytale features fun poetry bright design, and a fearful giant. Several dates available weekends in October. Children $20, adults $22. Parker Theatre at Parker Theatre, Salt Lake City UT.
  • Working Dog – Graduate Student Reading Series presented by The University of Utah Department of English. Wednesday, October 21, 4:35-7:30 pm: Diana Khoi Nguyen in conversation with Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, followed by Q&A (“hosted” by Kate’s poetry workshop).
  • 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.
  • Outlaw Days, Fri. Nov. 4 – Sat. Nov. 5 presented by City of Green River at City of Green River, Green River UT. This annual event is held every first weekend of November. Join us for Cowboy Action Shooting, a milk jug shoot, horseshoe tournament, cowboy poetry, country concert, and more! Tickets vary.

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.”