Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Farewell to MAXINE SHREVE...

Maxine Shreve of the Rhyme and Reason chapter, 92 years old, passed away peacefully in her sleep Oct. 25. There will be no funeral or memorial service. However anyone who would like can contribute money to the Maxine Shreve Memorial category for the UTSPS 2017 contest. Please make out the check to UTSPS and mail it to Kolette Montague. (Address in the yearly directory.)  Maxine was a long-time member of the Utah State Poetry Society and was one of the first people most of us met when coming into the group. She was a beautiful person and an ambassador for poetry in many ways. We will miss her sweet presence in our chapter meetings.

Can Wind Recall?
Maxine Croft Shreve

Can cold ashes nourish a flame
can clouds withdraw one drop of rain
can the tree reclaim one leaf, dried
can the eye unshed one tear, cried
can lips unspeak one word, spoken
can wishes mend a promise broken
can wind recall even one blow

can what my heart knows, unknow?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Meet GAIL SCHIMMELPFENNIG of Valley Winds Chapter

Gail tells us: "I was lucky enough to be the 2009 Utah State Poetry Society Poet of the Year for my book The Frozen Kingdom, a book of cancer poems. The book was also a finalist for the Utah Book Award in 2010. Poetry is a spiritual path for me, and a great source of comfort. In addition to my passion for poetry, I'm also in love with teaching high school English, reading good books, hiking the glorious mountains around the Salt Lake Valley, learning new things, getting back to yoga after decades away, and animals. I'm also a knitter/basket-maker/sewist/silk painter/fiber artist, a clumsy but enthusiastic skier, and a grandmother. Since 2010, I've gotten divorced, found a new love, lost 25 pounds, and moved to Holladay. Reaching 65 has meant I get Medicare! Yay! Life just gets better and better! And inside, I'm still about 6. No one knows about this part. So don't tell!" Gail serves UTSPS as Laureates Publication Chair and Facebook Editor.

Just North of Sleep

The sun is the color of granite.
Time dissolves when I hold it
in my mouth.  The clouds are spun
from salt, and memories
echo around me like a waterfall
of tears.

Shadows gather, pull at my
fingers and hair, push their way
under my skin.  They whisper
in thorns.  Their heavy scent
follows me, threading through
my pores, my ear-channels,
my dreams.

Forgive my doubts.  I know they
are voracious.

Some days, when I awake, I am
knit of little else.

Friday, October 16, 2015


If you missed Candy Lish Fowler's great presentation in Orem recently, don't fret. She is appearing several times in St. George as part of the St. George Book Festival's annual celebration. For the past several years we've been able to bring the UTSPS Poet of the Year to the Book Festival to share their award winning book with local audiences. This year it's Candy's turn, and she's a local poet that we as Dixie Poets and Redrock Writers both UTSPS chapters are proud to claim. Can't wait to hear her read from her collection of poems "On A Road That Knows Me." For more info on Candy see her bio on


Tues, Oct 20 2-4 pm Special WORKSHOP- "Paper, Pencil, Words and Music" by Candy Lish Fowler. Free and open to the public, at St. George main library, conference room A.

Tu, Oct 20 6-8 pm OPEN POETRY READINGS at Jazzy's on 285 N. Bluff Street in St. George, bring poems to read suitable for families. 8-10 pm SLAM POETRY contest- with adult subject material, compete for prizes. Organized by Darren Edwards.

Sat, Oct 24, 10 am Youth Poetry Contest Award Program at Heritage Square, 10:45 am-Candy Lish Fowler will read original poems and from her book of the year.

Th, Oct 29th , 7-9 pm Candy Lish Fowler-at DSU Eccles Theatre UTSPS Poet of the Year will present a program and readings from her book of the year "On A Road That Knows Me." 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Meet Rosalyn Ostler, Past UTSPS President

Rosalyn Ostler, member of Valley Winds chapter in Salt Lake City, born in Phoenix, grew up in Missouri, loves Utah. She and husband Robert have a large family. Her book, Walking the Earth Barefoot, won publication (after numerous tries), making her UTSPS 2010 Poet of the Year.  Rose says membership and activity in UTSPS have refined and strengthened her writing. While working for success with the book manuscript, she received many awards on single poems and learned the value of friendly critiques and continued effort. She is past president of UTSPS and continues as an officer working with membership and Panorama publication. She has many years’ service in Scouting, church, and community. Rose loves teaching kids and teens.
Iridescent Wings
My closest neighbor keeps her spotless rooms
in order that defies my skill; and yet
another friend from down the street perfumes
the air with gourmet dishes sure to whet
a weary appetite, while I make do
with simple recipes. And when I hear
the singer’s voice resounding freely through
her uninvited tears, my cavalier
intents to join the choir at church begin
to reel. Comparing often leaves me less
than best, and confidence becomes chagrin.
Then wisdom whispers this: she lacks finesse
of nightingales, but still the robin sings;
and even crows have iridescent wings.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Meet BILL ASPLUND, UTSPS President Elect

Bill Asplund tells us: “I was born in Canada and came to Utah in 1968 to teach economics at Utah State University. Then in 1976 I took a job with the Utah State Legislature where I spent the rest of my career." Currently serving as President Elect of UTSPS, he is in charge of our spring convention which will be held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah on Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23. “It’s a wonderful facility and attached to the Hilton Garden Hotel.  Put it on your calendar.”

Continuing, Bill remembers, “I still have the first poetry book my parents gave me the Christmas I was 4 ‘When We Were Very Young’ by AA Milne, and I have been reading and writing poetry ever since. I joined the Ben Lomond chapter some 9 or 10 years ago and have been in the Utah State Poetry Society ever since. I love poetry and like to hang out with people who feel the same. Below is the first poem I ever entered in the statewide UTSPS competition. It won first place in the children’s poetry category.  I've been waiting ever since for another win.  This poem appeared in my wife’s obituary.”
(For my Grandchildren)
                                 Billy Asplund

I woke up this morning and the sky was all gone,
It leaked from its place and oozed out on the lawn.
The sun was still there, but the sky goodness knows
Was sticky and gooey and squished through my toes.
It smelled like burnt toast smeared with apricot jam,
But the color was more like very old ham,
Sort of light blue, with a shimmer of green.
It’s the most unusual scene that I’ve seen.
No sky up above, just nothing, kaput,
No color, no clouds, no jet trails or soot,
And what can you do when the sky’s underfoot.
You could stand on your head, with your wrists in the goo
And think very hard, with your face turning blue,
That it just isn’t fair (as so seldom it is),
Like a bottle of pop that has lost all its fizz.
The natural laws say the sky is the sky,
But when it is not there you want to know why,
And the answers you get are more than uncertain,
Like trying to guess what’s behind a closed curtain.
For you just never know when waking at dawn
What will be there and what will be gone.