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

Monday, July 8, 2019


Welcome to a new member of the Valley Winds chapter ESTHER MERRITT MANNING. She discovered poetry early in her high school days when asked to do a collage in English Class telling about herself. Not knowing how to make a collage using pictures, she put together some poems she had written. Esther tells us...When the assignment was handed back, it had a note attached written by the teacher assistant who encouraged my writing.  I was able to have two of my poems selected to be published in a book with other student’s writings. 

Esther discovered that writing was a good source of therapy to deal with pain that she had experienced in her family from abuse. Her therapist encouraged her writing and suggested compiling and self publishing them in 1990 in a book entitled My Castle Wall, which is used as a tool to help other victims of abuse to know there is hope. Here’s a poem of hers to enjoy:

I am successful.
Let me repeat;
But do I believe?

Intelligent words
escape from my lips,
but the feelings within
tell me I’ve lied.

I can see what I’m told;
the truths are clear.
But images within
mar the picture without.

When will my heart
believe my mind?
How will I know
when I am whole?

I reach, I grope,
then touch and understand.
All things come with time
and gentle guiding hands.

Someday my part
will be whole
and words will not be words alone
but emotions of my soul.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


As winner of the nonmember's UTSPS April Festival contest, Raymond Christensen's prize was a year's membership in UTSPS. A published poet, he tells us he has always lived in Utah-Sanpete, Salt Lake, Weber and Davis County. Married with three sons, he's a tradesman, precision machinist, journeyman and has a BS in Design Engineering Technology. Raymond started writing in high school and has published his collection of poems entitled  A Few More Words Aloud in Everybody's Ear, available from He was welcomed at the Ben Lomond Chapter in 2018 and is our newest member of UTSPS. Welcome to our organization.

In a look; a contained field of view.
Out of the can into the land.
A circle centered by you;
near to hand. 

Unfettered boundaries
only painted on horizons.
Half spheres with bottoms

Far reaches, the mind’s eye
understands before reaching.
The end in sight; 
of sea or land. 

Cities, people, places and things.
Modified caves with old windows.
Surroundings; some entrapments,
some square holes. 

Circles of friends; cheery, trusted.
Well known pets and people too.
Who all see something
special in you.

Skylines ©2018 Raymond D Christensen

Friday, March 22, 2019

Welcome to TWILA WOOD

Welcome to Twila Wood who is the new Chapter president of Hinterlands-a friendly group of UTSPS poets who connect via the Internet. (Thanks to Margaret Pettis who began this unique chapter several years ago.) Twila grew up on a dairy farm in Wellsville, Utah, where she learned to love the land, animals and the mountains next to her home.  She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in English. After teaching piano lessons for 20 years and school for 25 years-9th grade English, speech and drama at North Cache, she retired in 2016 and has been able to more fully enjoy her hobbies of writing, piano and reading, along with her love of hiking, camping and boating.  With various poems and personal essays published in local newspapers and books, including “Her Touch” in Mothers of Faith published by Covenant Communications, Inc, she won two first place awards and two honorable mentions in the UTSPS Poetry Contest last April 2018. Twila is excited to be part of a society who shares the unique passion of poetry.
Winter Birch
by Twila Wood

                                                                        When snow draped
                                                                        our front birch in cotton candy,
                                                                        stacked cold sugar upon each limb,
                                                                        I’d swing one drooping branch
                                                                        for a shower of dazzling powder,
                                                                        sprinkling my face with magic
                                                                        of a million tiny diamonds.

                                                                        At night she froze
                                                                        into a white-haired ghost,
                                                                        floating in the brittle air outside
                                                                        my bedroom window. Wind weaved
                                                                        through her icy tresses in tinkling
                                                                        chimes, moon beams peeked
                                                                        through her strands in chilling glow.

                                                                        Her frosted waterfall sparkled
                                                                        through the morning fog;
                                                                        by noon, her explosion
                                                                        stunned the blue sky. Graceful
                                                                        crystals clung to her branches
                                                                        like dainty pinwheels, spinning
                                                                         enchantment into winter.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Meet Denis Feehan from Mesquite, Nevada

After retiring from aerospace, Denis Feehan  found time to devote to his passion, writing poetry and short stories. He lives in Mesquite, Nevada and joined Utah State Poetry several years ago as an At Large member. Active in music and writing, he loves to write poetry and fiction. Serving as President of Heritage Writers Guild, a chapter of the League of Utah writers located in St. George, Utah, Denis keeps busy. He recently entered the Chaparral contest-part of Redrock Writers' annual seminar and received 3rd prize recognition in the Chimera Division for his humorous poem A Very Mary Christmas. He has won awards at the annual Mesquite Fine Arts annual poetry and art contest where poets enter poems and artists select a poem as inspiration for their artwork as well as awards and publishing of his poetry from the League of Utah Writers.

The sound of thunder
like a tank brigade
forced my eyelids open
wide revealing my panic
It was Trash Day Tuesday!
and the bulging, sated cans
were still locked in the back
like felons serving five to ten

I checked the bedside clock
as if that neon dial mattered now
fact was the sun was up
and the tanks were here
I flew out of bed
like an F-18
with the wife yelling at me
as if that was gonna help

The concrete porch was glacial
on my sissy bare feet
how do penguins do it?
I ran like a football player
through a row of prostrate tires
to the grass oasis out front
but it was just as arctic
as the porch and wet to boot

I slipped as I right-turned
but got right up on my icebergs
and dashed to the side of our base
but the clock and I had failed
the thunder had waned
and the wife was pointing at
the tanks as they turned the corner
to do battle on the next block

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

TIME TO REGISTER for Spring Workshops

Not too late to register for UTSPS Spring writing-poetry workshops:

POETRY IN THE PARK-Fri, Mar 1, 2019 at Zion Park Lodge with Kimberly Johnson from BYU English Dept. from 9 am to 3 pm, nature hike, workshop on "Paying Attention", bring sack lunch or eat in Redrock Grill. $50-includes free park pass. Register at  or register at the door w/o park pass.

REDROCK CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR Sat-Mar 2, 2019 at Community Bldg 250 N 250 W in St. George 9 am to 1:30 pm. Three speakers: Kimberly Johnson-Writing the Details, Amy Jarecki-Writing Heart Stopping Historical Fiction, and Reuben Wadsworth-The Art of Seeing. Details and register at