Monday, August 10, 2020

Meet JON SEBBA of Valley Winds Chapter

 JON SEBBA has been a UTSPS member on and off since 1997. In 2013 his poe
try collection entitled Yossi, Yasser & Other Soldiers was chosen as UTSPS Book of the Year. He tells us…that book prompted by my combat experience in 1967, has given me a new mission in life. I use it to show vets and others survivors of trauma how writing and poetry in particular can help calm the stormy waters of our memories. Jon has recently taken over as chair of the Valley Winds Chapter of UTSPS from Steven Leitch who is our new State UTSPS President. Since Jon spends his winters in Arizona, he is hoping to set up his chapter with virtual meetings which may be the way to go for us during the current pandemic.
 A retired design engineer he loves fishing in the beautiful lakes east of SLC, fishing and writing poetry. He feels that…I have learned much and my poetry has improved thanks to the help and kind critiques of my friends at UTSPS. If one is a good observer, one can find poems anywhere, or more accurately everywhere. This one was hanging out at sunset, near a bridge on the Provo River as it enters Jordanelle Reservoir:

Arcs by Jon Sebba

 Above the splash and ripple damsel-nymphs

dance in sepia tones, dragonflies hesitate

in and out of spider silk traces

dangling from dusty bones

of a rusty bridge arch over the low sun.


A lone youth, knee-deep in a pale-beer current,

twitches the rod in his hand,

sends a sunlit spark along a loop

in a wide oval arc that settles on water,



Like a conductor at the philharmonic,

he swings his arm back.          Twist-flick,

the point of light vaults higher and wider,

streaks from hand to hook,

kisses the wet surface

and lingers like a feather for a beat.


Suddenly, a spring rainbow

explodes in a splash. 

Vees radiate from the line


and race away.


He pants and wrestles,

trout twists and turns,

rod bends and bows.

The line sings out. 


The rod and reel play until the tired fish concedes.

He draws her to him, cradles the rainbow in water,

eases hook out of her jaw, 


admires her sleek lines,


then opens his hands. She gives

a tail-flip and smack that sound like, Thank you.

You’re welcome, he murmurs and sighs.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Meet MICHAEL SPEARS of Rhyme and Reason Chapter

          Welcome to Michael Spears new President of Rhyme and Reason Chapter and UTSPS Membership Coodinator. He just joined UTSPS in March 2019 and loves the association with his poet friends. Here's some background on him in his own words. "Early life was spent on the north end of the Portland Peninsula, growing up in a "Stand By Me" environment (in the most literal sense).  When Mom found out her three young sons were hopping freight trains and skinny dipping in Triangle Lake, she packed her five children up and moved to Provo.  I thought my life had ended.  
          Learning to love the imagery, I developed an early love for poetry from the rare visits I had with my father, who could quote poems for hours on end.  Army veteran of Vietnam era, graduate of Weber State University and also the University of Utah.  Enjoy reading, especially history and anything anthropological.  Spring to fall is spent with wife Donna in our varied flower gardens and the vegetable garden (we are both licensed pruners and weed pullers).  We have loved growing pumpkins for the grandchildren and now we have a whole new generation of Bumpkins to share them with (they are quickly outnumbering the grandchildren)."  

          How to Make a Memory —m spears 
Take one grandmother
any size
with a welcoming lap
and smiling eyes;
one granddaughter
short or tall
tightly holding
her favorite doll. 
Add a dozen sheets
of paper
two pairs of
safety scissors
several pencils
(with erasers),
a medium amount
of patience,
one kitchen table
or rocking chair
with lots of love
and hugs to share—

Just start cutting
to hang atop
the fireplace
above the mirror
or frame of door,
it really doesn’t matter where.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Meet SUSAN GIBBONS-WOLF of Dixie Poets

Susan Gibbons-Wolf, a St. George resident, recently received word her non-fiction children’s picture book, “P.S. Boats, Around Puget Sound” was a finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  The book, containing “cheerful, rhyming text” and “stunning artwork,” received rave reviews last fall at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow.  The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest international awards program for independent authors and publishers.  Awards are presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in over 70 categories.  This year’s competition received thousands of entries from all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.  

Gibbons-Wolf and her husband retired to Saint George two years ago from Washington state.  She is a free-lance writer and studied creative writing at the University of Washington.  She is a member of the Society of Children’s book Writers and Illustrators as well as the Dixie Poet Society.  She joined the Utah State Poetry Society only this year.  Her book is available locally at The Book Bungalow in St. George, on her website and on Amazon. 

Excerpt from her book 
"P.S. Boats, Around Puget Sound"

“Small and round and
Rather plain,
I’m a helper:
Tugboat’s my name.

Push and tug
And come alongside
Moving big ships
Is my pride.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Time seems to be going faster and faster. Do want to remind you all that you can still pay your dues for this year $30 and coming up next month deadlines:

1. Feb 1st-Entries due for UTSPS April Awards Festival Contest (See

2. Feb 20th-Register for POETRY IN THE PARK-our 11th year in ZION PARK will feature poet ROB CARNEY from UVU on Friday March 6th at Zion Park Lodge 9 am to 3 pm. Only $50 includes free park pass. Free POETRY READING on Th night March 5 at 7pm this year at Hurricane Community Center 60 S 100 W. 

3. Feb 15th-Register for REDROCK CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR on Sat Mar 7th 9 am to 1:30 pm in St. George  $50+ Click flyers below to enlarge.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Meet SHARON ST. JOAN of Willow Wind Poets

      A poet, a writer, an artist, and one of the co-founders of Best Friends Animal Society near Kanab, SHARON ST. JOAN is a retired licensed wildlife rehabilitator and a life-long advocate for wildlife, wild lands, the earth, and all animals, wild and domestic. The inspiration for her poetry is the world of nature. As a child, she spent hours and days roaming among the woods of Connecticut, Maryland, and South Carolina. In recent years she has traveled over several continents, always seeking out forests, wildlife refuges, other wild places and the intriguing people who work to protect them, as well as the art and culture of earlier times, which was intertwined with the natural world. She feels that all of our wild lands, especially the magnificent lands of Utah which are among the most beautiful wild lands anywhere in the world, are in need of our protection, more now than ever before.

     Sharon recently presented the poem, In Gratitude, she wrote for the occasion of the Grand Opening of the Gratitude Garden at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah. 
                    In Gratitude (*just an excerpt) by Sharon St. Joan
Traveling far
Sunlight and shadow
We arrive at a place
Where we pause in the snow-
Winged light
Of many blessings.
The tall, towering cliff, ancient
Whose face
Shines gold
In the setting
Watches over
All those who walk in the spirit of kindness,
Wherever they may go.

*Visit this link to hear Sharon read all her poem... 

Saturday, August 31, 2019


Lots happening now that our summer vacations are over. Don't miss the UTSPS Poet of the Year MARKAY BROWN's presentation of her book...Planted in a Storm

Here's a link to a fun podcast recently published online that will tell you more about MARKAY BROWN-her background, why she writes poetry and how it happens. Great insights hosted by Segullah Magazine. 

MARKAY BROWN is UTSPS POET OF THE YEAR and will be presenting her award winning book on Oct 26th in the Orem Library, 58 N. State St., Orem, UT 84057, at 2 pm, also presenting at  poetry class and reading on Saturday Oct 12th at Dixie State University, in conjunction with the St. George Literary Arts Festival. See details below.

ST GEORGE  LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL-Fantastic speakers, activities, etc see details and register-it's FREE and coming soon Oct 8-12 at Dixie State University


t. ADULT CHAPARRAL Sept 1-Dec 1, 2019 see details

2. UTSPS APRIL AWARDS FESTIVAL-Feb 1, 2020-more details later on


Friday March 6, 2020 POETRY IN THE PARK with Poet ROB CARNEY from Utah Valley University’s English Dept at Zion Park  and at REDROCK CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR the next day in St. George Sat, March 7 with two other writers/poets. Details at and at

Friday, April 17, 2020 UTSPS APRIL AWARDS FESTIVAL in SLC area, one day only of awards, so we can participate in the FREE UTAH POETRY DAY the following day Sat, April 18, 2020 in SLC. Details coming on