Friday, November 3, 2017

Keeping Busy in DIXIE


DIXIE POETS, one of UTSPS's Chapters in St. George, just held their 8th annual YOUTH POETRY CONTEST with students from grades 1st-12th that reside in Washington County School District. Supported by the local school district and Dixie Poets President Lin Floyd in charge, over 150 students participated from public, private and online schools. Cash prizes were donated by Z-Arts and awarded on Oct 26th at 7 pm hosted by the St. George Art Museum. The theme for this year was MY WORLD.  Over 100 parents, friends and family were there to congratulate these youth poets in finding their voice through poetry.

REDROCK WRITERS, also a UTSPS Chapter, is sponsoring the CHAPARRAL CONTESTS for youth and adults. Deadlines: Dec 5th for youth and Dec 1st for adults. Details at http://redrockwriters.org 

Other activities coming up soon in our area will include: Free poetry readings by MAURINE HALTINER on Th Nov 17th at the St. George Library at 2 pm, and ANITA KROTZ-UTSPS Poet of the Year on Th, Nov 30th at 2pm at St. George Library and at 7 pm at Social Hall sponsored by the St. George Art Museum.  More details on these activities and POETRY IN THE PARK coming March 2nd and REDROCK CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR on Mar 3, 2018-see http://dixiepoets.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Meet PAM TUCKER of Dixie Poets and Redrock Writers


Pam Tucker spent much of her childhood in Kemmerer, Wyoming. She graduated from Bountiful High School and subsequently BYU with a degree in English.  She and her husband spent the next 33 years in Washington state and considers herself a Northwesterner and small town girl. She performed as a storyteller in the schools for many years while her 5 kids were growing up. She started writing at about age 50 when a group of friends decided to form a writing group, Left to Write.  “We tried our hand at everything, but poetry is the genre that comes most naturally to me.  Those friends gave me the encouragement and direction that got me started. We had a marvelous time together.”  

“One of my earliest joyful memories is listening to my dad read poetry to me.  I have always loved the music of language.  I find tinkering with words to be both satisfying and challenging.  I am a member of Dixie Poets and Redrock Writers in St. George and have been thrilled to find these two groups of wonderful writers.”  Her poems have appeared online at Prairie Poetry and Literary Mama, and have been published in Plainsongs, Trestle Creek Review, and Gatherings: A Collection of Women’s Writings.  She is also the author of the picture book Paper Monsters.

Carrying Tools to the Garden in Late October

Plunder, bees, these blooms.
Raid the stamen’s stores of gold doubloons 
and squander coins on aging wenches
as you swagger room to room.

Take while you can, buzzing buccaneers,
for I have come to upend the cosmos.
We are both marauders of the season.

Although in dangerous league we loot, 
you with rapiers drawn, I with slashing
shears, November soon will sally out
to raze the garden, stem and root.
Winter looms before us all,

and though we cut and parry,
winter’s sure riposte will end us—pierced
smack-dab through our awe-struck, blustering hearts.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Meet CLAUDIA BRESCIA from WIllow Wind Poets


Meet  Claudia Brescia who is a member of our new chapter Willow Wind Poets in Kanab. I asked her how she got involved in poetry and she said:  I started out writing poetry in the 80's when I read a poetry journal that asked questions at the end of it. One of the questions was,” What is getting in your way of writing poetry?” A simple and profound question. In thinking about it, I could not find one thing in the way, so I sat down and wrote my first poem. It was fun, it released my wonder at the world, gave me a place to put my thoughts out there to have a look at them from a different angle. It also gave me a place for all of my swirling emotions and deep thoughts. 

Three of those early poems were published and that encouraged me to keep writing. I joined the UTSPS because I love being with other people who share the passion for writing poetry. A wide and varied group of people, deep in thought and open to their emotions. I have read out loud at the Invocation for the Earthfest in Kanab, Utah on two occasions, with my twin sister, Lydia. I am a massage therapist and silversmith. 

CLEARIN OUT TIME

Clearin out time
n I'm doin a big spring cleanin-not my house, mind you--
the harder one, the house of my spirit!
Got a little dust built up, little cobwebs in the corners,
little rust on the heartstrings, some of em even broke.....
scrubbed em up with some ooo steel wool.
The luster in the eyes needed a good shine,
Skin haggard, had to get buffed n tanned,
Brain was shriveled n shrunken n confused,
that had to be washed, wrung, n hung out in a stiff wind,
pinned tightly to make sure it didn't just fly right on away.
Outlook was rough round the edges, n had to be trimmed to within
an inch of its own life.
Happiness was a hit or miss proposition
so took that to some of my friends for restuffin.
Love-o-meter needed fine tunin so found
a man to ring my chimes.
Energy needed a lift, so got doused in a nearby swollen,
singin, dancin, roarin river for fillin-
So far, that's all I done....
Big plans ahead!!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Meet BARBARA BLANKS from Hinterlands Chapter


When asked why she joined UTSPS, Barbara Blanks who lives in Texas says:... partly for the contests, but mostly because I was interested in what poets in other states were writing. Poetry attitudes vary across the country, and across the ages of members--and so many other things. Even though I read a lot of "famous" poets, I felt limited by the kind of poetry I was reading by Poetry Society of Texas (PST) members. I wanted more. Poetry didn't become my passion until about ten years ago. I've learned I love the challenge of writing to forms, writing to themes--just writing poetry. I tend to be obsessive about anything that really interests me, and poetry satisfies my need to be creative.  Barbara is the Recording Secretary and Librarian for PST, as well as president/editor of A Galaxy of Verse. Not only is she an at-large member of USPS, but thanks to our wonderful Margaret Pettis, she is now also a member of the Hinterlands Chapter that meets only online.  Barb is the author of four books, co-author of one. See www.barbara-blanks.com for a list of her many accomplishments and books published.

SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT
by Barbara Blanks

He was a boy with wings
who ran full tilt
into everything he did,
saying he soared because
he could park later.
He smiled at himself
in the mirror every day,
seeing the hope
of dreams to come, and
unwrapped each day
like an exciting gift.

Such a brief encounter with
unrestrained joy.  Somehow I lost it
or gave it away--maybe had it stolen
from me piecemeal, unnoticed.
I still search for that youth,
even knowing return is impossible.
Life is a spiral--not a circle.

And so, when I can't sleep, I throw off
the covers, raise my legs, and
“walk” on the ceiling. 
If I scrunch my eyes tight,
stars appear behind my lids.
I can at least pretend
I’ve learned to fly again.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS to all NFSPS winners

The National Federation of State Poetry Societies held their annual Summer Conference in Fort Worth, Texas last month. Many of our UTSPS poets entered their contest and won the following awards:

Wm Asplund-1HM; Christie Cook 4HM, 5HM; Barbara Blanks-1st, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4HM; Louise Cook-1st, 2HM, 3HM, 7HM; Robert Davis 1HM; Geraldine  Felt 3HM; Candy Lish Fowler-1st, 2nd, 2HM,  3HM; Barbara Funke-1st, 1st, 2nd, 4HM; Maurine Haltner-1HM, 2HM, 2HM; Lorraine Jeffrey-2HM, 5HM, 7HM; Grace Diane Jesson  1HM, 5HM, 5HM, 6HM, 6HM; Anita Krotz 2nd, 3rd, 1HM, 4HM, 5HM; Kolette Montague 2nd,  3rd, 1HM, 2HM, 5HM, 5HM, 7HM; Patricia Peterson-4HM, 5HM; Eric Read-1st; Jon Sebba 3rd,  2HM, 4HM; and Clarence Socwell   2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 1HM, 1HM, 4HM.

A TOTAL of 53 awards and competition was tough. Let me know if I missed anyone or any awards and I'll update this. Congrats to all who submitted. Next year’s conference will be in Denver, Colorado. See link Strophes for details and list of contest winners. I plan to submit and attend next year. Sounds like so much fun.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We NEED YOUR HELP


           THANKS to all those members who support our UTSPS organization by paying their yearly dues $30 and attending a local or online chapter for lessons, critiques and fellowshipping. You are appreciated and more new members are needed to increase our effectiveness in carrying out our resolve to further poetry in the state of the Utah. We get our financial support from grants from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums which is funded by National Endowment for the Arts as well as donations from past and current poets. In addition, UTSPS is conducting an ONLINE FUNDRAISER in June. Minimum donation is only $15 and in return, you will receive a donation confirmation email with directions on how to register for your 12-month membership in a discount network with many money-saving local and national merchant offers (eg, 20% off your bill at participating Dennys). The fundraiser page is: https://wefundthem.com/donate/utsps-2017-annual-fundraiser

Friday, June 2, 2017

Meet LORRAINE JEFFERY of Word Weavers Chapter


Lorraine Jeffery earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her MLIS in library science, and has managed public libraries in Texas, Ohio and Utah for over twenty years. She tells us how she got interested in poetry:  "I began writing poetry in grade school, quit totally in college, and resumed a few years later. As a child, I loved the sounds of words, and poetry helped me to understand my myself and my world. But when I went to college, I encountered a different kind of poetry (modernism, new criticism, Ezra Pound etc.). This was poetry I didn’t understand and didn’t want to write. Of course, a writer cannot stop writing, so a few years later, I was writing again—but not publishing. Then I had the privilege of listening to Ted Kooser when he was Poet Laureate, and that changed everything. He wrote poems I could understand, and opened the door once again, for me." Lorraine has won poetry prizes in state and national contests and has published over fifty poems in various publications, including Clockhouse, Kindred, Calliope, Ibbetson Street, and Rockhurst Review. "Osprey"was published in Waterways in 2008.

Osprey

He fell like God’s hammer,
and slapped the water
            with a sound that snapped
            all heads to the lake.

A shiny black gargoyle of parts and angles
wrestled in the circling water.

Then, the great ebony wings
            pushed the air down
            in one stroke,
and rose high above us.

The silver dash of the fish
            hanging from his
            comma beak.