Celebrating Beehive Poetry Month from the Comfort of our HivesApr 05, 2021 01:36PM ● By Katy Whittingham
The third annual Utah Poetry Festival will be virtual this year beginning on April 16 and ending on April 18 and is free and open to the public. Our state poet laureate, Paisley Rekdal, will serve as the host and many regional poets, including those from the Northern part of the state, will be participating in conversations, pedagogy roundtables, readings, and public Q&A’s.
“One of the things we’re doing this year is sharing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, one to two poems a day by Utah residents,” Rekdal said. “Basically, if people follow me and the Utah Humanities Book Fest, they’ll get a daily dose of Utah poets throughout the month of April,” she said.
Festival events can be watched live or streamed later via the Utah Humanities YouTube channel and all live events will be closed captioned by Al Media. Links can be found on the festival’s website along with registration information and a full schedule of events. Only registered participants will receive a link to the Google and Google Drive file with documents from the pedagogy panels on Saturday. Rekdal said, “We’re featuring nine of the best videos we received for April. Each panel will start with a poetry video that we received that we think is extra-terrific”.
An award-winning writer, Redkal teaches at the University of Utah, and she is the creator of “Mapping Literary Utah” that archives Utah writers of the past and present including poets, slam poets, and cowboy poets.
“I have over 210 writers and performers on the site now and am hoping to add more,” Rekdal said.
Once on the site readers can search for writers by genre, region of the state, keywords, and tags. Two of the Northern Utah poets on the site include Abraham Smith, current poet laureate of Ogden and past poet, writer educator, missionary, librarian, and editor, Nephi Anderson who wrote primarily devotional poetry.
In addition to being the poet laureate of Ogden, Smith is an Assistant Professor of English at Weber State University, a member of the band The Snarlin’ Yarns, and author of five poetry collections. His latest poetry collection is titled, The Destruction of Man, Third Man Books, 2018. Smith will also be moderating a panel at the festival, “Performance Poetry/ Poetry Out Loud”.
To learn more about Smith and Anderson, along with the many other local writers featured and additional resources, visit mappingliteraryutah.org. You can follow our fifth state poet laureate on social media and at paisleyrekdal.com. The virtual book fair that will include works by participating writers and readers, registration information, and a full schedule of events for the Utah Poetry Festival can be found at utahpoetryfestival.com. The festival is funded by fellowships and grants from The Academy of American Poets, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Utah Humanities.