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Summer Events Canceled

Aaaand I’m back again:) Just to be on the safe side, Helicon West will be canceled through the summer. This should give everyone some time to polish up past projects and start new ones! Here’s hoping things will be better in September…

Stephanie

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Summer and Fall Helicon Schedules

Hello, my dear community members! I know it’s been a hot second since we’ve been able to meet together, and it’s been a stressful time for everyone, but we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to restart Helicon West over the summer.

So…summer events will *tentatively* begin every fourth Thursday of the summer months in the Bonneville Room of the Logan Library. Different room, but the rest of the drill is the same. 7 pm, with your wonderful writing.

  • May 28 Open mic night
  • June 25 Open mic night
  • July 23 Guest Dayna Patterson
  • August 27 Open mic night

We have a prospective schedule for Fall 2020 as well, though it seems that some events are still up in the air. Note that we’re getting another chance to hear from Amber Caron and Natalie Rogers. That’s an absolute gift 🙂

  • Sept 10 Guest Josi Russell, fantasy author
  • Sept 24 Guest David Lee, first poet laureate of Utah, in conjunction with Utah Humanities Book Festival
  • Oct 8 Guests fiction writer Sian Griffeths & poet John Sibley Williams, with Utah Humanities Book Festival
  • Oct 22 Guests Amber Caron & Natalie Rogers, fiction writers
  • Nov 12 To be determined
  • Dec 3 To be determined

More information will come as these events get closer, but this is what we have to hope for. Stay safe!

Stephanie

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Helicon West Canceled!

Attention fellow community members! We all know that some crazy things have been going on with COVID-19, and unfortunately as a result, all USU-sponsored events have been canceled. While this news is sad, I hope that everyone will be able to stay safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves!

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Fiction Night at Helicon

It’s just about time for another night of Helicon West! We had a fabulous turnout for Nate Hardy’s reading in February, and this is a great opportunity to show some more of that community spirit. This week we have two fabulous fiction authors, Amber Caron and Natalie Rogers, coming to share their work with us. Amber Caron has had many publications and works as an Assistant Fiction Editor at AGNI. Natalie Rogers is currently one of the joys of USU’s English Department.

You know the drill: 7 pm on March 12th at the Logan Library in the Jim Bridger room. See you there!

12 Mar 2020

Stephanie

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Poetry with Nate Hardy

So far this semester we’ve had a stellar group of writers, but I promise that this next event is the one that you’re not going to want to miss. This Thursday, we will be joined by our very own Nate Hardy. He’s a spoken word poet, lyricist, and all-around genuine human being. It is always a joy to experience his readings and performances.

We’re meeting at 7 pm in the Bridger room of the Logan Library on the 27th. Don’t be late!

HW Feb 27

Stephanie

Featured

The Sweetest Valentines!

Do you want to know what the best way to get ready for Valentine’s Day this year is? Coming to Helicon West with your sweetheart and hearing from two extremely talented longtime Valentines 🙂 Natalie Young and Nano Taggart met in a USU English class in 2002, and on February 13th they’re bringing their local love story back to its roots. These two are the founding editors of Sugar House Review, and they’re going to be giving us a poetry reading.

So come! Whether it’s for a people date or an artist date, come brighten your February with good writing and good people at 7 pm in the Logan Library.

HW Feb 13

Stephanie

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TEA Time

It’s a very brave thing for students whose first language isn’t English to come to a university in northern Utah. Because there are students who are willing to take that risk, there are tutors at the Writing Center who are willing to help. TEA Time exists as an opportunity for English language learners to practice conversational English in fun and interactive ways. If you’re a student and you’d like that extra boost, come on over to Tea Time!

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Stephanie

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Cache Valley Community Writing Center

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Logan is full of all sorts of opportunities for writers to grow. Besides Helicon West, there is also the Cache Valley Community Writing Center, which meets every Wednesday from 5 pm to 7 pm in the Jim Bridger room. The first hour consists of a presentation on some aspect of writing, followed by an hour of tutoring with a tutor from the USU Writing Center. This month, we have upcoming presentations from Tyler Monson, Jack Bylund, Cari Phillips, and Emily Joy Powell. They are all so much fun, and it’s always good to learn more about writing!

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Stephanie

Featured

First Featured Reader 2020

At our last meeting, we had a wide variety of readers and wonderful writing. Thank you to everyone who contributed and made it an fabulous night!

Our first featured reader of the semester is Chad Anderson, who in 2017 published his memoir Gay Mormon Dad. Why would anyone not want to hear from him? After the incredible open mic night that we had last time, it would just be unfortunate to miss the next opportunity to support community writers.

Meet us at the Logan Library at 7 pm in the Jim Bridger room on the 23rd!

HW Jan 23

Stephanie

Featured

Calling all Community Writers!

Happy New Year, everyone! Hopefully you’ve all had a productive–or maybe just happy–holiday break because it’s time to get back into the swing of things.  For this new semester, Helicon West is jumping right in with an entire night wholly dedicated to volunteer readers. It’s open mic night! This provides the perfect opportunity to share any writing projects you’ve been ruminating over.  Our open mic segments in the past few months have revealed all sorts of talent in our community, so even if you’re not quite ready to read for us, you’ll enjoy hearing from others.

Once again, we’re in the Bridger Room of the Logan Library at 7 pm this Thursday, January 9th.  Don’t miss out on this!

HW Jan 9

Stephanie

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Winter Workshop

This January, Adam Fagin is offering a workshop session to our community.  He will be touching and fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, so this an ideal opportunity for any kind of writer.  There is further information on the flyer below.

Workshop Class

Stephanie

Featured

Nonfiction Night

Hello, hello to everyone out there.  First off, I’d like to remind you that we will not be having Helicon West again during the month of November due to that wonderful national holiday of feasting and gratitude that we all love.  As disappointing as this news is, I hope that you can all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We’re not done with our events for the year though! On December 5th, the lovely Jennifer Sinor’s students will present their nonfiction essays.  I’ve had the privilege of interacting with several of these writers as they’ve drafted their essays, so I can promise that it’s going to be a night worth attending and remembering.  These people are strong writers with creative minds.  There’s enough variety in the students attending that I guarantee there will be a topic for everyone in the audience to relate to.  Don’t miss this! 7 pm at the Logan Library 🙂

HW Dec 5

Stephanie

Featured

Featured Poetry

Have you heard of our broadsides? Created by the fabulous Terysa Dyer and Jessica Hahn from the USU Writing Center, the Helicon West broadsides feature poetry from readers at open mic night.  They always look beautiful, and the writing will enrich your artistic experience. Here are our most recent broadside publications:

Phillip Watts Brown was chosen for the 75th broadside, which hung on the podium for the duration of the evening at a recent event. Personally, I think the fact that there’s a fox on the poster should be enough to convince you to read the poem.  However, if that’s not a compelling argument, it’s also a chance to consider your relationship with the world around you.

Broadsides 75

At our upcoming Helicon West event on the 14th, we will feature two more recent broadsides with poetry by Nathan Allen and Adrian Thomson.

In Broadside #76, Nathan Allen has taken advantage of a poet’s love of lists to bring us the depth and complexity of a “simple” life.  I found myself being reminded to remember the lives that other people experience and how they differ from mine.

Broadsides 76

Adrian Thomson, a graduate instructor at USU, favored us with his poem “Sage Grouse” at our last meeting, and it has become Broadside #77. Curious about what barbed wire has to do with this animal?  He can give you some thoughts on the subject with vivid imagery and sharp prose.

Broadsides 77

Stephanie

Featured

That Creative November Work

Once again, we prepare to reconvene for Helicon West.  I know it’s a busy month for NaNoWriMo participators and students alike, but everyone should take a break to come listen to Danielle Susi and Ryan Ridge.  Danielle has a poetry chapbook called The Month in Which We Are Born from Dancing Girl Press.  She also has a history in stand-up comedy and has received awards for her journalism.  Ryan has four books and an upcoming short story collection.  He is the recipient of fiction awards.  They’re both guaranteed to be wonderful to hear from.

Join us in the Bridger room of the Logan Library at 7 pm on November 14th! Whether you want to share your own work or just hear from other writers, it will be a great night for everyone involved.

HW Nov 14

Stephanie

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Autumn Poetry at Helicon

For those of you who didn’t come to our last Helicon West, I have to let you know that you missed a performance that you can never get back.  Sunni and Star both gave us stunning poetry, from serious to hysterical.  I laughed so hard I almost started crying.  We had great open mic readers as well–lots of crazy talent.

On October 24th, we’ll be hearing from two more poets, Nancy Takacs and Jan C. Minich.  With the streak of great poets we’ve had lately, I can guarantee they will both be wonderful.  So I hope to see many, many people in the Jim Bridger room of the Logan Library on the 24th at 7 pm.

HW Oct 24

Stephanie

Featured

Stellar Women at Helicon West

For Helicon West on October 10th, we are delighted to be hearing from Logan’s Poet Laureate Emerita, Star Coulbrooke.  Star is the co-founder of our Helicon West meetings, so we are all grateful to her for that, but in her time as Poet Laureate she also gathered Logan together for poetry walkabouts.  Her book City of Poetry commemorates her experience as our first Poet Laureate.  She has recently published Thin Spines of Memory and Both Sides from the Middle in Helicon West Press.  Besides all that, Star has directed the USU Writing Center for eleven years, and we all love her there.  She does so much to bring poetry and writing to our community.

Star will be joined by Sunni Brown Wilkinson. We’re hoping to hear lots about her newly published collection, The Marriage of the Moon and the Field, which was a finalist for the Hudson Prize.  Sunni has been or will soon be published in Crab Orchard Review, Sou’wester, Adirondack Review, Sugar House Review, Cimarron Review, and Southern Indiana Review.  She received her MFA from Eastern Washington University and currently teaches at Weber State University.  We’re absolutely thrilled to have her with us this Thursday.

In case you haven’t gotten the idea yet, we’re going to have an stupendous gathering on the 10th 🙂  This is not the evening to miss Helicon West, so join us at 7 pm in the Jim Bridger room of the Logan Library!

HW Oct 10

Stephanie

Featured

Helicon West Welcomes the Year of the Woman

We had a great meeting on the 12th with Rob Carney, but it was just the beginning of a wonderful semester.  This week for Helicon West, we will be joined by Danielle Beazer Dubrasky, an associate professor from Southern Utah University who directs the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values.  Danielle first received her MA in English/creative writing at Stanford, then her PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah. Her poetry has been published or recently accepted in Chiron Review, South Dakota Review, Ninth Letter, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, saltfront, Sugar House Review, Cave Wall, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, Under a Warm Green Linden, and Terrain.org. We’re excited to hear from her chapbook, Ruin and Light, which won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook competition.

Once again, we’ll be meeting at 7 pm on Thursday the 26th in the Logan Library Bridger Room.  It will be an amazing reading, so don’t miss it!

HW Sept 26

Stephanie

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Rob Carney at Helicon West

School has started up again, and as the kick-off reading for this semester, we will be hearing from poet Rob Carney.  He has authored five books of poetry, and we are very excited to have him come from Salt Lake City to share his work with us.

Now that the summer is over, we will be moving events back to the Jim Bridger room at the Logan Library, but we still start at seven. Hope to see you there!

HW Sept 12.png

Stephanie

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Helicon West Summer Finale

This Thursday, August 22nd, is the Tyler Esplin Memorial reading, which will be hosted by Josh and Jess McDermott from Line Rider Press.  We are meeting at 7 p.m. in the Bonneville room in the Logan Library.  The evening is sure to be a wonderful capstone for the Helicon West summer events, so come check it out!

Stephanie

Featured

Open Mic Night

Hello everyone! I know it’s short notice but tonight’s Helicon West event is an entire night of open mic.  This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who doesn’t feel like there’s enough time to psych themselves up for reading 🙂  We hope that lots of people can come share their talent tonight at 7 pm in the Lake Bonneville room of the Logan Library.

Stephanie

Featured

Summer Writers Symposium

Summer Writers

Announcing the second annual League of Utah Writers and USU English Department Summer Writers Symposium, Saturday, June 15, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM, at the USU Eccles Conference Center, third floor. Presentations & workshops by Logan City Poet Laureate Star Coulbrooke; English Department professors & lecturers Brock Dethier, Ben Gunsberg, Shanan Ballam, and others; presenters from the League of Utah Writers, including local author Chadd VanZanten; and presenters from the Cache Valley Community Writing Center. Lunch included with registration:

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-summer-writers-symposium-league-of-utah-writers-registration-60967916680?aff=erelexpmlt

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Helicon West in May

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Even though Helicon West won’t be meeting as often during the summer, there will be still an event on the fourth Thursday of every month. For the month of May, we will be joined by Michael McLane.  He has been involved in some really cool events in Utah, and he’s sure to be an exciting presenter.  So come join our wonderful community on May 23rd at 7 pm! Keep in mind that the meeting will be in the Bonneville Room, not the regular Jim Bridger room.

Stephanie, from Rigby

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Creative Writing and Art Contest Winners

HW April 26

For our final event of this semester, the winners of USU’s creative writing contest will be reading.  One thing to remember: this week’s Helicon West is not at the Logan Library.  We will be on the USU campus in room 101 of the Merrill-Cazier Library.  However, the change in location will not make the readings any less spectacular, and all of these writers and artists are fantastic.  Believe me, you want to hear from them.

Stephanie

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Science Poetry Café

Science Poetry Cafe

In case you haven’t caught on yet, April is National Poetry Writing Month!  Because of that, we have so many fun poetry events coming up, and one of them is the Science Poetry Café. This will certainly be a different type of poetry, and difference is exciting, so come check it out!

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Poetry at Three

HW Apr 11

Before I introduce our next Helicon West event, I have to acknowledge the performances that the Bull Pen slam members gave on March 21.  There is no way to truly describe the energy and passion these poets gifted us with in their raw–and sometimes funny–poems.  It was a pretty full house, but anyone who couldn’t make it should absolutely go watch the recording of the evening on YouTube.

For the month of April, we will be resuming our regular event schedule of the second and fourth Thursdays.  As such, the next Helicon West meeting will be April 11th–at 7 pm in the Logan Library, of course.  Our guest readers are members of the Poetry at Three group.  Having heard many of these poets before, I can confirm that it will be a great night, so don’t miss out.

Stephanie

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Meet Aiya Sakr

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At Helicon West on the 28 February 2019, we were privileged to hear a few poems from Aiya Sakr during open mic night.  Aiya is a former student at Utah State who attended Helicon West from 2013 to 2015.  She read at Helicon West as a winner of Scribendi, the creative writing contest at the time.

Aiya started on the professional path to poetry while taking a poetry class from Ben Gunsberg.  Often her poems are focused on themes of being Palestinian-American, having a dual identity, and the elusive concept of home. Aiya says, “When I am writing, I get to explore the questions I don’t have answers to and find a place for the odd parts of me that don’t fit. I don’t always find answers, but with every poem I emerge more deeply connected with myself.”

In regards to Helicon West, Aiya believes that it’s the perfect place to share her work with a community who strive for the same things that she strives for, a community of seasoned and novice writers, all welcome, brought together by a love of words.  It’s a unique environment that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Aiya has a chapbook called Her Bones Catch the Sun from the Poet’s Haven and has been published in Sukoon, Nimrod, and Burning House Press, among others.  She will be starting an MFA at Purdue University in the fall.

 

Below is the recording of the night Aiya read at Helicon West.  The entire video is fun, but Aiya’s performance can be found in the last seven minutes or so.

Stephanie

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Presenting the Bull Pen Slam Team

HW Mar 21

If you couldn’t make it last week, you missed out on interpretive fly-tying.  No, you will never be able to compensate for that experience.  But we had a great night with inventive poets and writers.

Once again, due to the spring break that we tired college students badly needed, Helicon West will be taking place on the third Thursday rather than the fourth.  Come join us on March 21st as we hear from the Bull Pen Slam Team.  Our slam poets always bring a wide variety of topics and voices to the table, so don’t shortchange yourself on getting to hear from them.

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Hooks and Books

HW Mar 7

We had a great time last night with Ben Gunsberg and his poetry (and sound equipment and dancing!), and we’re glad that so many people could make it.  The open mic portion of the evening contained fantastic talent as well.

Due to Utah State’s spring break occurring during the second week of March, Helicon West will happen NEXT THURSDAY March 7 rather than the week after.  Chadd VanZanten and Russ Beck have promised us a thrilling night focused on the topic of fly-fishing–and also featuring some interesting technology to shake up the reading.  If you’re curious about that at all–or if you just want to hear some great writing–come check it out at 7 p.m. in the Logan Library.

Stephanie

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Welcome Ben Gunsberg

HW Feb 28

Thank you to everyone who came to our last reading with Amanda Luzzador!  We had a fun night with our horror and love themes, and we were able to hear various pieces of great writing.  For this upcoming Helicon West event on February 28th at 7 p.m., we will be joined by Utah State’s very own Ben Gunsberg.  He will be reading poems from his newly published collection, so it’s sure to be an exciting experience.  And, of course, there’s always the opportunity for aspiring writers to get their work heard during the open mic portion of the evening.  Come support our writing community!

Stephanie

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Amanda Luzzader at Helicon West

HW Feb 14

We are thrilled to have author Amanda Luzzader reading to us this Thursday, February 14th, at 7 pm in the  Logan Library.  This is an amazing opportunity–both for couples and for singles–to add a new twist to Valentine’s Day with an author who specializes in science fiction and horror.  Come enjoy her writing and participate in open mic night following the reading.  See you then 🙂

Stephanie F

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Special Guest Darren M. Edwards

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For the final meeting of Helicon West this month we will be having Darren M. Edwards as our special reader. As always, we will be meeting in the Logan Library at 7:00 PM. Listening to local and professional writing makes for a great night in this cold winter weather. Bring friends, special significant others, or anyone that would appreciate the event! Hope to see you then!

 

Westin Smith

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Welcome back!

Hey, Helicon! I hope you all got a nice winter break. I spent most of it in Wisconsin with my partner, Charlie. He smiled whenever I marveled at the trees. I haven’t spent much time there yet, and the landscape was just as impressive to me on this trip as when I visited in July.

Listen, though, the trees. There are trees and trees and trees, and behind the trees there are more trees. About half of them are evergreen, but they look black against the snow piled on their branches. Even in the dead of winter, when all the birch trees are bare wood, you can’t see through a thicket of them. Their toothpick bodies block out the view of the horizon.

There are no mountains on the horizon, either. Whenever there was a true break in the trees, I was startled again to see zero sagebrush-covered hillsides. I’m pretty sure Charlie doesn’t know what I mean when I talk about mountains. I’ve tried to describe them to him, but there, among the lakes and rolling hills and trees and trees and trees, everything is about the same height. I don’t know if he’s ever been in a canyon before.

He asked me what foothills are when I described the neighborhoods in the eastern part of Logan. He’s never needed to know what foothills are. He’s never needed to know what sagebrush is.

I’m moving to Wisconsin in May, and that’s something to which I don’t think I’ll quickly get accustomed. No mountains. No sagebrush. Just trees and trees and trees and lakes and lakes and lakes. As much as I love the trees and lakes and snow, I’m definitely going to miss the mountains.

Anyway, now that we’re all back in Logan (including, I’m sure, some of us who didn’t leave), it’s time for Helicon again! We have a few upcoming events I’d like to announce:

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The first Helicon West event of the year is TONIGHT at 7PM in the Logan Library’s Bridger Room, as per usual. We will hear from members of the League of Utah Writers, as well as have our open mic session. The featured readers are Tim Tarbet, Emily Wheeler, Jeremy Goheir, and Amanda Luzzader. Caffe Ibis coffee will be served. See you there!

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Also, this Sunday, there is a free community poetry event at the Bluebird! At 6PM, we will hear from three Cache Valley poets: Star Coulbrooke, Margaret Pettis, and Heidi Blankenship. There will be refreshments and a book signing table. However, because this event is open to the public, it is not BYOB. I hope you all can come. It’s sure to be wonderful!

 

CVCWC flier Jan2018-1.jpg

Thirdly, if you are a member of Logan’s writing community and would like to attend a weekly workshop followed by one-on-one help from a Writing Center tutor, I encourage you to consider visiting the Cache Valley Community Writing Center! They meet once a week on Wednesdays at 5PM in the Bridger Room (the same room where we have Helicon). I’ve been to one of their workshops, and it’s definitely worth the time!

Helicon West Spring 2018-1.jpg

Finally, we have the full list of Helicon West dates for the spring semester:

 

  • TONIGHT (Jan. 11) – League of Utah Writers Showcase
  • Jan. 25 – English Department Lecturers Showcase

  • Feb. 8 – Tony Roegiers Book Launch

  • Feb. 22 – Ben Gunsberg Advanced Poetry Class

  • Mar. 22 – Bull Pen Slam Team

  • Apr. 12 – Poetry at Three

  • Apr. 26 – Sink Hollow Participants

All those fliers can be found full-res below this cut, so if you’re looking for additional details, that’s where you can find them. Thanks for reading, and see you soon!


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three valley poets flyer.jpg

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