In January of 2015, my friend and fellow poet Bonnie Shiffler-Olsen and I embarked on a new poetic adventure–one that I am certain will become a staple in the Utah literary community for years to come. We were searching for a creative and academic poetry community, one where poets could share, learn, and support each other. And so began Rock Canyon Poets.
We are proud to announce our second poetry collection, Orogeny. Now available for purchase, Orogeny is the first in a series that will ultimately become an online journal and local press. You can sample Utah poetry and support our mission by picking up a copy of any of our three books at our Poetry Store for a measly $5 – $10 (yup, we take paypal).
Here’s what other Utah poets are saying about Orogeny:
“In these pages you’ll find starlings and stars, red rocks and coffee shops, turntables and wishing wells, burritos and razorbacks and reruns of The Sound of Music. In short you’ll find poets dreaming their way onto the page. By dreaming, I mean closing their eyes to see better, opening them to grab up any details they missed. Transformation is their state flower. ‘What if?’ their state song.” – Lance Larsen, Poet Laureate of Utah
“While Orogeny gestures to the spectacular Wasatch Mountains that loom above the Provo home of these nineteen poets, it also points back to origins and myths. In this collection we find a myriad of such stories of beginning (and hints at their endings) ‘folded and deformed by lateral compression to form a mountain range’– from fallen angels to exploding stars, from Eve to Eurydice and the spectacles of carnival or war. These poems lay at fault lines, at places of slipping, subverting, and rising above.” – Michael McLane, editor for saltfront and Sugar House Review
Individually, these poets have received an array of local and national awards, and are published in a variety of magazines, anthologies, and literary journals, including several chapbooks and/or full-length books of poetry.
How we got started
First, we found a venue–Pioneer Book, nestled in historic downtown Provo, UT has been generous and encouraging in ways we never imagined. They graciously provide us with a meeting space, an open mic venue, and desperately needed promotion.
Second, we needed members–within weeks of inviting poets we already knew and spreading the word via social media, etc. we quickly grew to a diverse group of nearly 30 poets. We are very proud of our diverse membership. Our ethnically rich group ranges in 18 to 70 years in age, and represents many backgrounds. You can read more about our poets here.
Including our monthly open mics and workshops, we have hosted and performed at several events, including a reading from Meg Day and our own spot on the literary stage at the Utah Arts Festival in June of 2015, which was featured in our local paper. Keep your ears open . . . Utah poets are about to get loud!