The Utah Arts & Museums has been supporting Utah's literary community for 53 years. The Utah Original Writing Competition began in 1958 and has since expanded to other offerings, including readings, conferences and workshops all over the state, as well as providing a series of professional development seminars for writers.
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. Our current Poet Laureate, Lance Larsen, teaches literature and creative writing at Brigham Young University, where he currently serves as associate chair in the Department of English.
April is National Poetry Month - Poet Laureate Events
Each April, the Poet Laureate leads several discussions throughout Utah. Watch for announcements of events in early Spring.
See the original Bite-Size Poetry Project begun in 2009 by Former Utah Poet Laureate Katharine Coles, featuring eighteen of Utah's finest poets. The goal of the project is to put a bite-sized poem (one that can be read aloud in one minute or less) in front of every Utahn every month. Videos can be viewed on the poets' "Artist Profile" pages on NowPlayingUtah.com.
Because there are so many readers who asked us to keep these poetry emails coming their way, and becasue so many fine poets were not included in the original project, we lauched Bite Size 2.0. This project includes videos produced by the poet -- giving them greater opportunity for creativity. Each month a different poem is featured and sent out in an e-mail blast, as well as being streamed as a video file from NowPlayingUtah.com.
Utah is home to several literary journals and magazines, both print and electronic. They range from independent to university and college-sponsored periodicals and include content in all of the literary genres, often paired with visual art. Additionally, audiences for each range from local to national and from secular to religious, and accept submissions from both experienced and emerging writers. For a list of publications, click here.
Utah Authors Book Collection
The Utah Authors Book Collection began as a program of the League of Utah Writers called Save Utah’s Book Sensibly (SUBS). In the SUBS program, Utah writers sign and donate a copy of their newly published books to the collection. This practice continues, and the Utah Authors Book Collection has hundreds of first-edition books by Utah authors. This collection will soon be available to the public in digital form.
Utah Original Writing Competition Manuscript Collection
Winning manuscripts from the Original Writing Competition have been collected for many years and are preserved in the State Archives.
Poetry Out Loud
Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Utah Arts Council’s Literature Program to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages Utah’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.
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.