Friday, March 22, 2019

Welcome to TWILA WOOD

Welcome to Twila Wood who is the new Chapter president of Hinderlands-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

Friday, November 23, 2018

TIME is running out

Keep in mind some poetry DEADLINES coming up soon.

1. UTSPS DUES are due by Jan 5, 2019 which will be here before you know it right after the holidays. Dues are $25 and entitle you to lots of benefits including: Panorama, Book of the Year, reduced rates on UTSPS's Contest, and 12 poems that can be critiqued for free by the Critique Bureau. See details at

2. ENTRIES for our annual UTSPS April Awards festival are due by Feb 1, 2019. Start now selecting your poems and getting ready to submit them. Contest categories: Then mark down the date of Apr 11-12, 2019 for our annual UTSPS conference at the Provo Courtyard at Marriott. There are new fun categories for the contest. Who knows this may be your year to win. You can't win if you don't enter.

3. REGISTRATION for UTSPS's 10th annual POETRY IN THE PARK to be held Fri, Mar 1, 2019 in ZION PARK will open online Jan 1-Feb 15th, 2019. Details on this fun poetry weekend are available at and register also for Sat, Mar 2, 2019 Redrock Creative Writing Workshop in St. George. Don't miss this weekend of poetry workshops starring award winning poet Kimberly Johnson of BYU's English dept.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

PANORAMA 2017 is out

Thanks to Jennifer & Russell Asplund for their work on pulling together another terrific PANORAMA issue filled with great poetry from UTSPS members who submitted their poems last June and were paid members. There will be an opportunity for other UTSPS poets to submit their poems for the next issue. Don't miss out, deadline to be announced.

Also coming up Redrock Writers-a chapter of UTSPS announces their Chaparral Poetry Contest for 2019. Poetry can be submitted starting Sep 1, 2018 , details at

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Here’s your chance to visit ZION PARK on its 100th anniversary before the crowds and shuttles begin in Southern Utah. The 10th annual POETRY in the PARK workshop presented by Utah State Poetry Society and Zion Park Forever Project will feature award winning poet KIMBERLY JOHNSON, BYU English professor, on Friday, March 1, 2019 from 9 am to 3 pm. Registration: Adults-$50, College-High School students-$20. 

On Thurs, Feb 28, a FREE optional poetry reading at 7 pm in Springdale's Canyon Community Center will be held sponsored by ZArts. (Overnight lodging in Springdale is available at winter rates for those wishing to attend the lecture on Thursday night and Poetry in the Park on Friday.)

Johnson’s PIP workshop at the Zion Park Lodge will focus on Paying Attention to details to improve your poetry. Experience a guided nature walk or explore Zion Park on your own, bring a picnic lunch or dine at the Redrock Grill upstairs at the Lodge, this will be a time to remember and meet new friends. Details at   

Following PIP on Sat. Mar 2, 2019, Redrock Writers presents their CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR  in nearby St. George for a separate fee. Presenters include Johnson, historical romance novelist Amy Jarecki, and Journalist-writing teacher Reuben Wadsworth. Details at

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Meet Debra Csenge of Willow Wind Poets

Debra Csenge writes, paints, and grows vegetables in Kanab, Utah. She left her former home in Maine over 10 years ago, and now hikes the trails of southern Utah. She holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art which she received as a “non-conventional” student in 2004. She has worked as a self-employed furniture maker and upholsterer, for the outdoor company LL Bean in Freeport, Maine, and as a library assistant at Kanab City Library. She now thoroughly enjoys her retirement.
She started writing poetry as a young woman, and then took it up again about 10 years ago. She has been published by Green Horizon Quarterly (Topsham, Maine) and by Red Rock Review, now called Kanab Arts Magazine (Kanab, Utah). She has performed her poetry, along with other local poets, at the Amazing Earthfest, a weeklong celebration of public lands based in Kanab, Utah for the past 12 years.
Feathery branches
Dark against peach glowing clouds
And patches of surprising pale cerulean.
The sunset
And this expansiveness
Pushes aside my small thoughts
And busy circuitry.

I am clear and still,
     Like the tree branches.
     Like the red cliffs.
     Like the sky windows
Into infinity.

I linger gratefully
To drink at the well
Of inner silence.
My small struggles
And my knowing
Of the great losses
Dissolve in this sweet moment.

There is nothing
That triggers this reverie
Like dark trees
Against the sun’s
Parting gift
Of pure expanding deep.