Welcome to Poetry Central! Created by Lance Larsen, PhD, Utah Poet Laureate 2012-2017, Poetry Central is a clearinghouse of information for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in reading and writing poetry.
Bite-Size Poetry started in 2009 as the brainchild of Utah Poet Laureate 2006-2012, Katharine Coles. Katharine’s idea was to infuse a bit of poetry into the everyday lives of Utahns in a manageable, “bite-size” format. She has said of the project: “Lots of people think they don’t have time for poetry, but in truth, most poems are short, and everyone has time for a one-minute poetic encounter.”
She invited notable Utah poets to write a poem they could read aloud in one or two minutes, and the poets were videotaped reading their poetry. The program so far has run from 2009-2011 and in 2015, with production provided by KUED-TV in the early years and by TWIG Media Lab in 2015.
The Utah Poet Laureate is a Governor-appointed advocate for literature and the arts throughout the state who presents in communities, schools, libraries, and public events. The position was established in 1997.
Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal
Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, a hybrid-genre photo-text memoir entitled Intimate, and four books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope and Animal Eye, which was a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Balcones Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her newest book of poems is Imaginary Vessels, and a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam is forthcoming in 2017. Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, the Best American Poetry series, and on National Public Radio, among others. She teaches at the University of Utah, where she is also the creator and editor of the community web project Mapping Salt Lake City.
Book the Poet Laureate
To request a reading or workshop by the Poet Laureate, please fill out the Utah Poet Laureate Appearance Request Form. Requests are honored based on the nature of the request and the availability of the Poet Laureate.
Created by Lance Larsen, PhD, Utah Poet Laureate 2012-2017, our Poetry Central page is a clearinghouse of information for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in reading and writing poetry.
For our Bite-Size Poetry project, we invited notable Utah poets to recite short poems they’ve written. Our friends at TWIG Media Lab created videos of the readings. Enjoy!
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 your organization, please fill out the Poet Laureate appearance request form.
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.
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, competitions, awards, festivals and presses. These range from independent to university- and college-sponsored periodicals, events and workshops, and include content in all 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.