ST. GEORGE — Two award-winning local poets will be doing presentations of their craft within the next week.
Marleen Bussma, from Dammeron Valley, Utah, recently released a book of cowboy poetry entitled “Tales of the Trails” that won the 2019 gold Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in Western literature. In 2018, the International Western Music Association selected the book as the Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year.
Bussma and several other local poets will be presenting a free program of cowboy poetry Saturday at 1 p.m. PST (2 p.m. MST) at the Mesquite Art Museum, 15 W. Mesquite Blvd.. The presentation will be 90 minutes and provide entertainment appropriate for the entire family.
On Tuesday, poet Markay Brown will be offering a reading of her poetry in the Community Room of the St. George Branch of the Washington County Library, located at 88 W. 100 South, at 2 p.m. Brown was recently named the Utah State Poetry Society’s 2019 Poet of the Year for her book “Planted in a Storm.”
The cover of Brown’s book and other photographs found in it are the work of local acclaimed photographer Elizabeth Fortney. Brown’s poems reveal her childhood, reared by an alcoholic father after her mother was killed in an automobile accident. Tuesday’s program will feature Brown and others reading poetry from her book, which some have said have the power to make listeners both laugh and cry.
Two of Southern Utah’s biggest poetry and writing events are coming up in the spring. First will be Poetry in the Park, held at the Zion Lodge, on March 6. Next year’s event will feature Utah Valley University English professor Rob Carney, who will present on “Poetry as Maps.” The evening before, on March 5, Carney will also present a reading at the Hurricane Community Center’s Bryce Canyon Room.
Hosted by the Utah State Poetry Society and Zion National Park Forever Project, the event will also include a guided nature walk, time to compose poetry and time to share poetry with other poets in attendance. For more details, click here.
The day after Poetry in the Park, writers can participate in the Red Rock Creative Writing Seminar in St. George, rounding out a writing-intensive weekend. The seminar is supported in part by Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the Utah State Poetry Society, the St. George Arts Commission and RAP tax monies.
Details on the seminar can be found online.
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