Helicon recap: Darren Edwards, 1/23/2014

Hello Heliconers!

Like I said earlier, this month has had a slew of special guests. Another USU alumni and Helicon organizer, Darren Edwards, drove all the way up from St. George, Utah to pay us a visit and treat us to some awesome performance poetry. He started off the evening with a poem by Buddy Wakefield, then transitioned into his own pieces, which were funny, heartbreaking, and poignant. If you missed it, you can watch it below. It’s not quite the same, but still good. :)

Remember the next reading is on February 14th, 2014, and features writers from the Utah League of Writers. See you there!

Keep calm and Helicon,


Helicon Recap: Liz Stephens 1/16/2014

Hello Heliconers!

This month has been a slew of special guests! First up, Liz Stephens, former USU Grad Student and Helicon West summer organizer, came back to freezing cold Logan, Utah to pay a visit, and she carved out a little bit of time to read! It was pretty much fantastic. If you weren’t able to be there, or if you want to re-live the moment, check out the video below.

Hope you enjoy it! Remember that the next Helicon is on Thursday, February 13th, and features members from the Utah League of Writers. See you there!

Keep calm and Helicon,


Upcoming Reading: Liz Stephens

Hi Heliconers! Mark your calendars for the upcoming reading on January 16th, 2014. We are in for a special treat–Liz Stephens, an alumni of the USU English graduate program and organizer of the Helicon West summer series, is coming back for a visit and a reading! You won’t want to miss it!

In case you aren’t familiar with her, a little bit about Liz:

Liz Stephens received her PhD in creative nonfiction. A winner of the Western Literature Association’s Frederick Manfred Award and a finalist for the Annie Dillard Creative Nonfiction Award, her work has been published in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Western American Literature, and South Dakota Review.

And, because we like to celebrate our writer’s successes, here’s a little bit about her book, too!

Liz Stephens has come from Los Angeles to Utah for graduate school, and her brief stint working on a Taco Bell commercial is not much in the way of preparation for taking on the real West. In The Days Are Gods Stephens chronicles a move that is far more than a shift in geographical coordinates. With husband and dogs in tow, she searches for an authentic connection to this new community, all the while knowing that as an outsider she will never really belong. And yet precisely as an outsider, Stephens has a unique perspective on belonging, one that colors her accounts of attending her first small-town rodeo, living in the thick of a thriving Latter Day Saints religious community, raising goats in her laundry room, and observing the town’s racialized Founder’s Day battle reenactments. In her frank and particular way, Stephens shows how the culture of memory, as our inheritance, offers a balance to our brief attention spans and our brief lives.

“A stimulating search for self and place set against the vast backdrop of the American West.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Liz Stephens’s exquisite memoir, The Days Are Gods, tells a fascinating story of the search-for-self in unfamiliar territory. This literary debut is a pure pleasure to read.”—Dinty W. Moore, author of The Mindful Writer

“Acutely self-aware, in indelible prose, Liz Stephens finds a future in America’s past: not re-enactment, but re-creation, through the hard work of life-and-death responsibility. And in ultimately realizing she cannot be of any one place, Stephens gives an evocative voice to the values and vision that shaped the country.”—Judith Kitchen, author of Half in Shade

Keep calm and Helicon!


Spring 2014 Helicon line-up

Hi Heliconers!

You’re in for a treat this semester–we have awesome featured readers scheduled for every Helicon West this semester! Check out the schedule below

On January 16th, we’ll hear from Liz Stephens, former USU instructor & author of The Days are Gods.
**Note that this reading takes place on the third Thursday of the month, rather than the second.

On January 23, we’ll hear from Darren Edwards, former USU instructor & HW planner, who now teaches at Dixie State University. He is also the co-found of Storm the Mic, an award winning literary magazine.

On February 13, the Cache Valley Chapter of the League of Utah Writers will serenade us with the written word (maybe they’ll even have some romantic stuff, since it’s the day before Valentine’s Day! Or not. Either way, it’ll be great!)

On February 27, we’ll hear from our very own Chadd VanZanten, who is a fiction writer and author of the blog “How Small a Trout”.

On March 27, the members of the Bull Pen, USU’s Creative Writing Club, will participate in the Bull Pen Slam.

On April 10, Helicon will host the annual Poetry at Three reading, which will feature Shanan Ballam, Star Coulbrooke, Brock Dethier, Ben Gunsberg, Robb Kunz, Phil Parisi, Anne Shifrer, and Shari Zollinger

Finally, on April 24, the winners of USU’s 2014 Creative Writing Competition will read their winning works. The creative writing contest publication, Scribendi, will also be available for purchase.
**Note that this reading will take place at the Merrill Crazier library on USU’s campus, rather than at the Logan Library.

After each reading, there will be an open mic. Each reader will get seven minutes to read pretty much whatever he/she wants–surprise us! Slots are limited, so make sure to arrive early to sign up!

Remember that all Helicon West events (with the exception of April 24th) will be held at 7:00 PM in the Bridger Room of the Logan Library, 255 North Main.

Hope to see you there!

Keep calm and Helicon,