Utah Poetry Festival Schedule

A virtual celebration of Utah’s poets and poetry, online Friday, April 16th to Sunday, April 18th, 2021. Register to watch live or stream all events later via the Utah Humanities YouTube channel. Live events will feature public Q&As. All events closed captioned by AI Media.

Only registered participants will receive access to Google Drive link with documents from the Saturday pedagogy panels.

To register, click the event title to register for each event you wish to attend. Registration closes the day after the event. All panels will allow for moderated community Q&As and discussion.

The Utah Poetry Festival is supported with grants from the Academy of American Poets, Utah Division of Arts and Museums and Utah Humanities.

Shop our festival’s virtual book fair here.


APRIL 16-18th, 2021


7-8 PM MST Headline Reading with Katharine Coles and Anna Scotti, Moderated by Lisa Bickmore

A headline reading to celebrate Utah’s newest publishing venue, Lightscatter Press, with inaugural Lightscatter Press Poetry Prize-winner Anna Scotti and judge Katharine Coles. Moderated by Lisa Bickmore, editor at Lightscatter Press.

Lightscatter Press is an independent nonprofit literary press with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The press seeks to preserve and extend the material, tactile experience of the printed, bound text through beautiful, innovative design that integrates digital artifacts and experiences created for and with the printed text.



K-12 Poetry Pedagogies

Teachers in K-12 schools often struggle with how to make poetry more engaging and accessible to students.  This panel will offer adaptable, practical lessons for a variety of age and skill levels in poetry, including creative writing and discussion exercises. With Harmony Button, Nathan Hauke, Sally Wilde and Matty Layne Glasgow. Moderated by Tim Erickson.

PANEL 2: 11:30-12:30 PM MST

Performance Poetry/Poetry Out Loud

Interested in creating a poetry slam team or event at your school? Wondering what poems to teach, and how to coach students interested in performance poetry or competing in Poetry Out Loud? This panel will discuss the relationship between poetry and performance, and how to encourage students to bring poems on the page to life. With Alex Caldiero, Lin Flores, Jean Tokuda Irwin and RJ Walker. Moderated by Abraham Smith.


Poetry and the Pandemic

The pandemic changed everything about how we live, including how poets write, promote, teach and access poetry. This panel will examine how the pandemic has affected the panelists’ own creative and personal lives, and their strategies for how to stay inspired, as well as to enable greater student and community access to poetry going forward. With Joel Long, Willy Palomo and Melissa Salguero. Moderated by Kara van de Graaf.

PANEL 4: 3:30-4:30 MST

Writing Exercises/Poems for All Levels

Teachers at nearly every level, committed to teaching more poetry, may still wish for more ideas and more support in doing so. This panel offers exercises for writing poetry, and poems tested for reading and discussion, for all educational levels. With Lance Larsen, Paisley Rekdal and Brenda Sieczkowski. Moderated by Ben Gunsberg.

APRIL 17th, 7-8 PM MST Headline Reading with Michael Lavers and Natasha Sajé, Moderated by Cindy King

A reading by poets Michael Lavers and Natasha Sajé, moderated by Cindy King.



Writing in Community

Writing–perhaps especially writing poetry?–is famously understood to be a solitary activity, but lots of writers find invaluable company in writing groups and writing friendships. This panel explores the many forms that writing communities take, and how writing in community aids the artist. With Lisa Bickmore, Star Coulbrooke, Trish Hopkinson, Jesse Parent. Moderated by Danielle Susi.

PANEL 2: 11:30-12:30 PM MST

Writing and the Environment

We are fortunate to live in a state whose natural beauty is famous around the world.  This panel features poets whose work reflects upon the landscapes of Utah, finding in its mountains and deserts, waters and dry places something that illuminates both the human and the wild.  With Chris Cokinos, Danielle Dubrasky, Kimberly Johnson, and Nancy Takacs.


Devotional Poetry

Utah’s poetry community reflects the state’s rich diversity of spiritual observance.  This panel brings together writers who endeavor to articulate the numinous experience of spiritual life across a variety of traditions.  With Tacey Atsitty, Jacqueline Osherow, Michael Sowder, and Darlene Young. Moderated by Paisley Rekdal.  

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