The Utah Division of Arts and Museums has been supporting Utah’s literary community for over 50 years. The Utah Original Writing Competition began in 1958 and has since expanded to other offerings. Readings, conferences and workshops throughout Utah, as well as supporting professional development seminars for writers, the Literary Arts program has been able to reinforce growth and interest across all literary genres.
Utah initiated its Poet Laureate program in 1997. The Poet Laureate is a Governor-appointed advocate for literature and the arts throughout the state. The Poet Laureate is available for readings at public events and in venues including libraries, universities and schools. To have the Poet Laureate visit you, please fill out the Poet Laureate appearance request form.
April is National Poetry Month
Each April, the Poet Laureate leads several discussions throughout Utah. Watch for announcements of events in early Spring.
Utah is home to a rich and diverse writing community. Throughout the state there are several literary journals and magazines, both print and electronic, conferences, competition and awards, festivals, and presses. These range from independent to university and college-sponsored periodicals, events and workshops, and include content in all of the literary genres, often paired with visual arts. Additionally, audiences for each range from local to national and from secular to religious, and are inclusive of experienced and emerging writers alike. For a list of resources, click here. You may also sign-up for our monthly LitOps newsletter by contacting Jean Irwin.
Poetry Out Loud
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with Utah Arts & Museums’ Literature Program to support Poetry Out Loud, which encourages Utah’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. State arts agencies receiving arts education funding from NEA are required to participate.
Original Writing Competition
The annual Original Writing Competition has won national respect because of the reputation of its judges and the honors received by its winners. For more than 50 years, this competition has honored some of Utah’s finest writers with public recognition, career assistance and cash prizes.