WASHINGTON COUNTY — Poetry will once again rejuvenate Southern Utah in the month that also ushers in spring.
Early March will bring many exciting events for poets and poetry lovers, including workshops and contests for all ages. It’s not too early to start making plans, as registration is already underway. Below is a listing of poetry-related events for youth and adults happening soon in Washington County.
“Youth Creative Writing Workshop”
Thursday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Springdale Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale.
Designed for students in grades 8-12 who have a keen interest in writing, the Washington County “Youth Creative Writing Workshop” will include a presentation on metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive writing as well as a nature walk, silent writing time and a writing share. It will be a fun opportunity for students to enjoy an outdoor classroom, be inspired by nature and hone their writing skills.
Interested student participants should speak to their language arts teachers to sign up for the workshop.
“Youth Creative Writing Contest”
The Youth Creative Writing Workshop will be the official kickoff of the 2018 “Youth Creative Writing Contest,” which will be accepting entries until April 13.
The contest theme is “The beauty of Washington County’s landscape” and will feature two categories: poetry (30 lines or fewer) and personal essay (300 words or fewer).
The contest is for grades 1-12 with four divisions: 1st-3rd grade, 4th-6th grade, 7th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade. Winners will receive cash and merchandise prizes as well as be published in a chapbook.
Winners will be notified by May 4 and the contest awards ceremony will be May 19, at 10 a.m. as part of “St. George Literary Arts Festival” on the Dixie State University campus.
Free Z-Arts Poetry Reading featuring Shanan Ballam
Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at the Springdale Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale.
Shanan Ballam teaches creative writing at Utah State University and was named the 2014 Lecturer of the Year for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Ballam’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several literary journals, most recently in “DIAGRAM” and “Tar River Poetry.”
“Poetry in the Park”
Friday, March, 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Zion Lodge.
As part of this daylong writing workshop, this year’s “Poetry in the Park” will feature Shanan Ballam giving a presentation entitled “A Celebration of Sound and Sense.”
The Poetry in the Park workshop also includes a guided nature walk with a naturalist and time to write and mingle with other poets. Participants can bring a picnic lunch or eat at Zion Park Lodge’s Redrock Grill.
Cost for the workshop is $55 for adults and $20 for students. Participants must register before Feb. 15 to receive a free park pass in the mail.
Poetry in the Park is made possible by a partnership between the Utah State Poetry Society and the Zion National Park Forever Project and is partially funded by grants from the Utah State Division of Arts and Museums and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Redrock Writers’ 16th annual “Chaparral Poetry Forum Awards”
Friday, March 2, at the St. George Community Building, 245 N. 200 West, St. George.
Winners will be announced and read at 7 p.m. for youth winners and 8 p.m. for adult winners.
“Redrock Creative Writing Seminar”
Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the St. George Community Building, 245 N. 200 West, St. George.
Presenters at the seminar will include Shanan Ballam, who will speak on “Elegant Solutions: Honesty in Facing Difficult Subject Matter,” Lara Candland on “The Art of Seeing,” and Dixie State University’s Dr. Cindy King on “The Power of Creative Imagery in Prose.”
Candland is the author of “The Lapidary’s Nosegay” in the Rocky Mountain Poet’s Series (Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing) and “Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree.” She has been nominated for two Pushcart prizes, and her work has appeared in many journals.
King is assistant professor of creative writing at Dixie State University and the faculty editor of DSU’s “The Southern Quill” and “Route 7 Review.” She was recently a Furious Flower Poetry Center Fellow at James Madison University. Her work is published in multiple journals and can be heard online on NPR’s “Weekend America” and “Rhino Poetry.”
Registration costs for the seminar vary, but discounts are available for early registration before Feb. 15. For a registration form and ticket prices go to the Red Rock Writers website. High school students get in free with a teacher’s signed recommendation.
The Redrock Creative Writing Workshop is made possible in conjunction with the Utah State Poetry Society and with funding from the St. George Arts Commission arm of RAP.