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.


  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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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


  • 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.”

NO FEE Poetry, Prose & Visual Art Contest (Women of faith) + editor interview – Segullah, DEADLINE: Jan. 31, 2019

Trish Hopkinson

Segullah is currently running a poetry and visual art contest free to enter this year. Segullah is an online literary journal and blog designed to encourage literary and artistic talent, provoke thought and promote greater understanding and faith among Latter-day Saint women and other women of faith. They “publish insightful writings and images which explore life’s richness and complexity while reflecting faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

For more info on how to submit to literary magazine and journals, read my Submission Tips here.

I wondered how and why this contest came to be, so I asked staff member Terresa Wellborn a few questions to find out. See my interview with Wellborn and a link to their contest guidelines below.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about the Segullah contest.

WELLBORN: You can find all contest info via this link: https://segullah.org/contest/.

Winners of the contest will be selected from…

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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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Feature poet Katie Manning @ SFYS Open Mic in Provo – Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

Provo Poetry

Provo Poetry and Speak for Yourself Open Mic are pleased to present feature poet Katie Manning from San Diego!

Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review and an Associate Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Her full-length poetry collection, Tasty Other, won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Find her at  www.katiemanningpoet.com. This upcoming August 17, Thursday evening from 7:30pm-9:00pm, Manning will travel through Enliten Cafe as the Speak for Yourself Open Mic hosts a night of conversation and poetry.

“Tasty Other is a stunning collection where the surreal feels terribly real—Manning’s dream poems about pregnancy and motherhood are funny, frightening, and absurd—which resembles parenthood perfectly. Manning’s voice invites us into her subconscious and makes us feel at home there. Tasty Other is a must read.” —J. Bruce Fuller, Author of Flood

Manning visits Speak for Yourself Open…

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Call for Submissions!

peculiar journal blog

Submit Typewriter Background

peculiar is a queer literary journal that aims to showcase the prose, poetry, art, and photography of Utah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise queer writers and artists. We hope to recognize the creative talents of the often overlooked queer community within Utah’s unique culture.

In our first issue, co-editor-in-chief Aaron Gates wrote the following in his foreword: “To belong, isn’t that what we are fighting for, constantly? Every day a wave surges against us, telling us we are too different, telling us we have no place, telling us that something is wrong with us. No one can tell you what you are worth; that is for you to decide.” So we hope you’ll decide to be brave. To be strong. To be beautiful.

The SUBMISSION DEADLINE for our fifth issue (volume three: issue two) is JULY 16th at MIDNIGHT (MST). After which, peculiar staff will do blind readings…

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Rock Canyon Poets reading at Lithic Bookstore & Gallery in Fruita, CO on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 @ 7pm

RCP Reading at LithicThe Rock Canyon Poets are pleased to be the guests of Lithic Bookstore & Gallery in Fruita, CO to read original poetry from Orogeny, their second collection of poems by local Utah County poets, on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

Featured poets include Rock Canyon Poets’ co-founder Trish Hopkinson and previous Fruita resident Lisa Connors, along with several other members, including Paul Francis, Jack Garcia, Aaron Gates, Shauntel Peterson, Zach Power, Dennis Clark, and Chris Peck.

Lithic Bookstore & Gallery offers a fantastic selection of books, art, handmade goods, and other curiosities and is located upstairs in the old bank building, downtown Fruita, Colorado.

Where: Lithic Bookstore & Gallery – 138 S. Park Square #202, Fruita, CO

When: Saturday, October 8, 2016

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Rock Canyon Poets boasts diverse membership, ranging from 18 to 71 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.

Co-founded by Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen and Trish Hopkinson in January, 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 on the Rock Canyon Poets, email rockcanyonpoets@gmail.com.

Official web site: http://rockcanyonpoets.com

For more information on Lithic Bookstore & Gallery, go to http://www.lithicpress.com/