Read for the Fest

Each day during the month of April, we’re promoting a Utah poet to celebrate both the Festival and National Poetry Month.

Our Requirements

Poets of all ages, styles, training, publishing and performing backgrounds wanted! Poets writing and performing in languages other than English are also welcome. Interested poets should send a video of themselves performing or reading one original poem that does not exceed four minutes in length to the festival organizer, Paisley Rekdal, by March 1, 2022. Video-poems or animations of original poems are also welcome. Selected videos will be shared via social media, along with information about the poet and any links to the poet’s feeds and sites. The videos will be posted on the Utah Humanities Book Festival FacebookTwitter, and YouTube accounts. There will also be a playlist on the. Utah Humanities Book Festival YouTube Channel, entitled Utah Poetry Festival 2022.  

Subject Matter

Poets are free to write and record what they like: no subject matters are automatically off-limits. As these poems will be shared in a variety of contexts to a variety of audiences, however, poets should consider the intent and value of explicit language and material. Poems that express racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or ableist language, or any language with the clear intent to harm or offend others will not be selected.

Tips for Recording

• Clean your lens. Carefully clean it with a microfiber cloth.
• Orientation: Be sure to orient your phone horizontally.
• Avoid Back Lighting: Position yourself so your face is well illuminated and there is more light coming from in front of your face than behind.
• The best source of light is daylight! Try filming during the day if possible.
• Stabilize: If you can, use a tripod or mount the camera on a hard, stable surface. Alternatively, set the phone on a table between a few books to stabilize the camera.
• Lock Focus and Expires: Tap on your phone’s LCD (on the point you want to focus on), which will lock focus on Google Android devices, or holding your finger in place, which locks focus on the Apple iPhone.
• Look into the camera lens rather than at yourself on the screen.
• Angle your camera straight at you or from above rather than from below.
• Audio: If you have a Bluetooth microphone, that can make the audio in your video projects sound clearer. Otherwise, simply try to record in a room or location where there isn’t much background noise.

How to Record on Your Laptop/Computer (Mac)

  1. Open your Applications folder to find QuickTime
  2. Go to File > New Screen Recording and then click the Record button. You can choose between recording a portion of your screen or the entire screen.
  3. After you stop recording, click File > Save to export the video file to a location on your computer.

How to Record on Your Laptop/Computer (PC/Windows)

  1. Open the “Camera” application.
  2. Switch to “Take Video” mode. Click or tap the video button on the right side of the app’s winddow.
  3. Click the video button again to start recording.
  4. You can pause and resume recording using the buttons on the right side of the window. The video will save as one file at the end.
  5. After you stop recording, the file should save in your ‘Pictures’ library, in a folder called ‘Camera Roll.’


Paisley Rekdal

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