Inspired: A FREE Community Poetry Writing Workshop

Imagery in poetry helps to provide meaning within the limitations of language. In this workshop, participants learn how to create poems using imagery and metaphor to express ideas in unique and universal ways. Offered annually in participation with the Utah Humanities Book Festival by Rock Canyon Poets and Pioneer Book, this workshop will be presented in two sessions, followed by a reception and poetry reading. Participants will be encouraged to submit their poem to be included in a printed anthology and contributors will receive a free copy.


Pioneer Book, 450 West Center Provo, Utah 84601

What to Bring

  • Pen and paper to write and/or an electronic device to write on (laptop, etc)
  • Drink/snack if you so desire

How to Sign-up

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


  • Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at 6pm – Workshop #1
    Imagery talk/discussion, writing exercises
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 at 6pm – Workshop #2
    Share and workshop first draft of poems
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at midnight –Poetry submission
    Email up to three poems to for publication in the anthology, preferably poems from the workshop
  • Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 at 6pm – Anthology launch party
    Reception, contributors poetry reading, and open mic





2017 Mountain West Writers’ Contest (poetry/prose) – $500 prize, DEADLINE: Nov. 3, 2017

Western Humanities Review invites writers currently living in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, or Utah to submit to our 2017 contest. Prizes will be awarded in poetry and prose. Winners will receive cash awards of $500 and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Western Humanities Review. All entrants will receive one copy of the prize issue.

Submissions are due by November 3rd, 2017. Poetry submissions should not exceed 10 pages or 5 poems. Prose submissions may be fiction or nonfiction and should not exceed 25 pages. Entries must be previously unpublished. Previous winners of the competition may not re-enter in the category for which they won. Past judges have included Brian Evenson, Mónica De La Torre, Lucy Corin, Oliver de la Paz, Kellie Wells, Kathleen Graber, Ander Monson, Robert Wrigley, Edward Hirsch, Allison Hagy, Ron Carlson, Stuart Dybek, Albert Goldbarth, T.R. Hummer, David Lehman, Kevin McIlvoy, Marie Ponsot, Bob Shacochis, Timothy Donnelly, and David Shields.

This year’s judges: Bob Hicok (Poetry) & Lily Hoang (Prose)

Established in 1947, Western Humanities Review is a journal of contemporary writing published by the University of Utah’s Department of English. Recent issues have included the work of Carol Maso, Stanley Corngold, Thalia Field, Shelley Jackson, Laird Hunt, Susan Steinberg, Michael Martone, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Kazim Ali, and Ilya Kaminsky.

Click here to read contest guidelines

DEADLINE: November 3, 2017 


PRIZES: $500 and publication

FORMS: Poetry submissions should not exceed 10 pages or 5 poems. Prose submissions may be fiction or nonfiction and should not exceed 25 pages.

Want to know more about Rock Canyon Poets? Follow our blogFacebook, or Twitter. Open mic poetry readings happen the second Tuesday of every month at Pioneer Book in downtown Provo. Click here for more information on events.

Rock Canyon Poets performed at the Utah Arts Fest – video and photos!

We had a great time performing at the Utah Arts Festival last Friday afternoon. Special thanks to the poets who performed: Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen, Trish Hopkinson, Dennis Clark, Jack Garcia, Michaelle Martial, and Chris Atkin. If you missed us at the Utah Arts Fest, you can watch the entire performance as captured on Facebook live. Also below are some photos of each poet.

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Rock Canyon Poets reading at the Utah Arts Festival this Friday!

Rock Canyon Poets are proud to announce they will be reading poetry at the Big Mouth Stage on Friday, June 23, 2017 from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. as literary artists for the Utah Arts Festival. You can read about our 2015 performance in this Daily Herald Article: Newly formed Rock Canyon Poets perform at Utah Arts Fest.

Arts Fest: Big Mouth Stage, Friday at 2pm

Rock Canyon Poets boasts diverse membership, ranging from 19 to 72 years in age with many backgrounds–including literary journal founders, editors, ex-military, business professionals, a playwright, and a periodontist.  Individually, they have received several awards and been published in magazines, anthologies, journals, chapbooks, and full-length books of poetry. Rock Canyon Poets offer poetry with the tactile clarity of tin-can messages through fuzzy strings to the ears of an audience. These poems are tumbleweeds in semi-truck grills. They get stuck in your teeth, build bridges of spun sugar, and make it possible to mount a camel without a sturdy ladder.

The Utah Arts Festival takes place Thursday, June 22 – Sunday, June 25, 2015, 12 noon to 11pm, on Library and Washington Squares in downtown Salt Lake City (200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111).

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

For more information, contact the Rock Canyon Poets,

The Daily Herald features Rock Canyon Poets for Nuclear Impact Utah event this Tuesday, May 9, 6:30 pm at Pioneer Book

Big thanks to Court Mann and photographer Dominic Valente for the excellent story and photographs in this Daily Herald article that was published this morning about our upcoming Nuclear Impact Utah event this Tuesday, May 9 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at Pioneer Book in Provo.

Nuclear Impact Utah – Poets on the Nuclear West is an event presented by the Rock Canyon Poets and Pioneer Book, featuring contributors to the new Shabda Press anthology Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands, including Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen, Trish Hopkinson, Michael McLane, Amy Brunvand, & C. Wade Bentley. Plus, clips from the film Downwinders and Q&A with filmmakers Tim Skousen & Tyler Bastian. The event begins with a poetry open mic followed by contributor readings and film clips with a brief Q&A with the filmmakers. The event and open mic are open to the general public. No ticket necessary.

Pioneer Book is Utah County’s largest used and rare bookshop, carrying titles in a broad range of fields.

For more information, contact the Rock Canyon Poets,

Facebook event:

Utah poets featured on 90.9 FM KRCL’s Radioactive – 6pm every night this week!

Provo Poetry

To help celebrate poetry month, KRCL is featuring a different Utah poet every day this week on their Radioactive public affairs program at 6pm on weekdays. Specifically, these poets are Utah county poets and members of the local poetry group Rock Canyon Poets. Tune in for National Poetry Month announcements and to hear the poets read one of their original poems.

Listen one of three ways:

The schedule is as follows:


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Open Mic Poetry Reading – Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Pioneer Book

RCP logo 1Join the Rock Canyon Poets for an evening of poetry. Not just any poetry—we want poetry that aches to be published, poetry that pushes the boundaries of the page, poetry that doesn’t need a performance, poetry that simply needs to be read. Bring your words in all of poetry’s traditional forms (from the sonnet to free verse) or just bring your ears for listening.

Where: Pioneer Book – 450 West Center Street, Provo

When: January 10, 2017 (2nd Tuesday of every month)

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Poetry Reading

Sign up in advance or just come and read!
These events are very casual and social. If you’d like to RSVP, add your name in a comment below, or email Each poet may read for up to 5 minutes. Maximum of 9 poets per reading. If there is time remaining, poets in the audience will have an opportunity to read.

Inspired reading for blog

Want to know more about Rock Canyon Poets? Follow our blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Open mic poetry readings happen the second Tuesday of every month at Pioneer Book in downtown Provo. Click here for more information on events.

REALLY Important Modern Poetry special feature + Open mic–Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 @ 6:30pm

reallymodernpoetryeventThe Rock Canyon Poets are pleased to be hosted by Pioneer Book in downtown Provo for an enjoyable night of satirical poetry. The reading is open to the community and free to attend. Come join local Utah County poets and listen to them read the timeless poems of Kanye West, Sarah Palin, Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen, and many other “well-versed” celebrities from The Anthology of Really Important Modern Poetry on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm. The reading will be followed by an open mic and light refreshments will be served.

Featured poets include Rock Canyon Poets’ co-founders Trish Hopkinson and Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen, along with several other members, including Paul Francis, Colin Douglas, Chris Atkin, Darin Whittaker, Austin Beckstrom, Neil Shelley, and Lisa Conners.

Pioneer Book is Utah County’s largest used and rare bookshop, carrying titles in a broad range of fields. They are proud to be the home of the Rock Canyon Poets, as well as hosts to regular reading events and a monthly poetry open mic.

Where: Pioneer Book – 450 West Center Provo, Utah 84601

When: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm


Inspired: Volume 2 – a community poetry writing experience available online for only $5

Our second annual issue of community poetry is now available online! Support local poets and see what they are writing right here in Utah County. Click here to get your very own copy! All proceeds continue to fund local poetry projects.
Huge thanks to all our participating poets, including Austin Beckstrom, Skye Caden, Lisa Connors, Steven Duncan, Paul Francis, Claire Gammon, Trish Hopkinson, Craig McClanahan, Logan Olsen, Robert K. Rowberry, Shelby Slade, Joshua P. Sorensen, Amanda Steele, and Darin Whittaker.
inspired-screen-shot-captureMemories are the stuff from which lives are sewn, attached to us like buttons and grade school friendships, like seasons of joy, sadness, loss, and love. In our second year of the Inspired workshops, we aimed to bring a community together, to memorialize the turns in our lives—those moments that become components of us in ways that nearly seem tangible—the flavor of Dr. Pepper, pigments of the sky, textures of childhood, shadows of our elders, and regrets that haunt. These poems are more than language or printed paper. These poems are pieces of ourselves; and poems don’t forget.