Utah Writers Offer New Views of State’s 125th Anniversary in UTAH @ 125

Twenty-two writers. Twenty-two original views of Utah. Collected as Utah @ 125, these works of flash nonfiction are part of Thrive125, a far-ranging cultural initiative celebrating the state’s 125th anniversary.

What: Utah @ 125, a collection of new 125-word nonfiction pieces by Utah writers

When: Published February 2021

Where: Available at thrive125.utah.gov/utah-at-125

The flash nonfiction pieces in Utah @ 125, each just 125 words long, were commissioned from writers ranging from Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal, a University of Utah professor, to Lance Larsen, a former state poet laureate and Brigham Young University professor, and Tayler Fang, a recent Logan High School graduate, who served as 2019-2020’s National Student Poet of the West.

Other writers include slam poets, playwrights, nature writers, activists and novelists, based in Vernal, Cedar City, Provo, West Valley City, Eagle Mountain, Logan and Salt Lake City. These short-short essays describe a Bonneville Trail hike on the winter solstice, the anchoring feeling of watching quails march across a front yard, extraordinary views from on top and inside the artworks of “Spiral Jetty” and “Sun Tunnels,” and what it means to grow up in a town like Beaver.

The Utah Department of Heritage & Arts published Utah @ 125, a new digital literary chapbook, as part of Thrive125. The ambitious statehood celebration, which was launched Jan. 4 with a TV broadcast hosted by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and featuring Utah performing artists, will continue throughout the year.

Along with the literary chapbook, the Thrive125 initiative includes: a database of Utah’s 1896 architecture; “Becoming Utah: A Peoples’ Journey,” a short educational film with curriculum resources about Utah’s history; a One Book, One Utah state library book club highlighting Craig Child’s “Virga & Bone”; a “Voices: Discord and Harmony in 1896” digital exhibit; plus historical and cultural panels, such as “Wintertime Native American Tales”; and “Coming Together: How Utah Became the Union’s 45th Star,” an exhibition at the Utah State Capitol.

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Inspired, Vol. 6 Poetry Anthology now available!

Couldn’t be more proud of our incredible talented community poets here in Utah! I am honored to have edited and released this anthology of Self-Portrait poems earlier this week. Special thanks to our designer Austin Beckstrom who always does such an incredible job! He loves book design, so if you’re needing an incredible designer for an affordable rate, definitely check him out. Also, HUGE thanks to

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SOUND, SYMBOLISM & METER: UTAH POETRY – ROCK CANYON POETS featured in SLUG MAGAZINE

Rock Canyon Poets Inspired anthology release party and open mic was featured in SLUG Magazine’s special local literary issue! You can pick up your own print copy of December’s special issue across Utah at news stands. Special thanks to reporter Tyson Call and Kathy Zhou for covering our event and to our sponsors who made the workshops and poetry book possible: Pioneer Book and the Utah Humanities Council in conjunction with their Book Festival.

Read the complete article here:

SOUND, SYMBOLISM & METER: UTAH POETRY – ROCK CANYON POETS


Pick up your own copy of Inspired for just $5 and check out our first and second issues of Orogeny in our Poetry Store here.

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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.