Come Hear the Scribendi Winners!

If you are reading this, there is no turning back. You have already seen too much. All I can do is advise you on how to proceed. Your best chance of hearing the winners of the USU creative writing contest is to attend Helicon West tomorrow night; April 23 at precisely 7 pm. Be advised. The reading will not occur in its usual location. Instead, it will be held in the Merrill Cazier Library, room 101 (just inside the entryway).

If you make it, you will be rewarded for your efforts with the best art and writing entries the university has to offer. The student works have been chosen only after completing a rigorous regimen of revision and the endurance of the infamous Judgment. There will be books for sale. There will be many other interested parties you must compete with for chair space. There will be glory and honor! If you fail to complete this quest, you will be haunted by the ghost of Mark Twain, Shakespeare, and May Swenson. I apologize if you were not aware of the curse of the ancients. I impart this knowledge only for your protection.

Be brave, those of you who seek the exaltation of Helicon West. Go forth with courage.

-Jessica

A Room Full of English Majors Get a Double Entendre

There were some awesome poems and exquisitely sensual mangoes at Helicon West on April 9. Chadd, one of the open mic readers, has allowed me to put some quotes on the internets from his standup-comedy poem, “Decidedly So.”

“Another fireman hooks it to the fire hydrant, but he accidentally sets it…to cake frosting. See, all fire hydrants have three settings: water, cake frosting, and Dr. Pepper. Gallons of cake frosting spurt out of the nozzle, but it only shoots a few feet. People are dying, burning, clothes burned off, skin falling from bones like burned hotdog meat….”

Did I say standup-comedy poem? Is that a genre? However, this poem is more than just funny. It is structured so that it almost feels like a dream. Hilariously bizarre phrases link and link again in long, conversational sentences. The insistent repetition of “burning,” which you can see at the end of the quote, drives this dream-tone home. The premise is fantastic, and the delivery is awesome. Some more best lines:

“Some part of you is still in the dream, so instead of hello, you mutter ‘Cake frosting can’t put out a fire.’…It’s your boss, from work.”

“But what I found odd was not the robot, and not the dog calmly allowing this machine to violate her; what tipped me off was it was the wrong yard.”

“Right now, there’s an alternate me saying, ‘I had the weirdest dream. I went into this big building and sat in a chair staring at this little screen, and there was this thing with a button for each letter of the alphabet so I sat there with the thing pressing the buttons to make words. SO freaky. I tried to leave but they wouldn’t let me. They said I had to stay. Until it was all dark outside, and then they let me go.’”

“The only thing keeping me from smashing the 8-ball on his head is that I do it all the time…in another reality.”

At this point in “Decidedly So,” I was reminded of all my suspicions that I get from movies like “Inception” and “The Matrix.” You know that thrilling terror that perhaps the person in the mirror is alive? Or that perhaps some part of you ceases to exist when you go under for surgery? Worse yet, that your brain is in a tank being cared for by scientists who send you a constant stream of hallucinations? Thanks, Chadd, for that paranoia fuel.

I hope that somewhere out there, the dream where I was a Pegasus is real.

Other than laugh-out-loud humor, this Helicon West’s readers featured the dark, surreal, tender, heart-wrenching, vengeful and vividly realistic. In case you missed it, the whole open mic section is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QShQe3VS5Aw

-Jessica

Poetry at Three (but really at seven)

Aloha Heliconers!

I’ve got a thing for us to be excited about. Helicon West is coming up! If you go at Thursday, April 9th at 7:00 PM to the Bridger Room, Logan City Library, 255 N. Main you shall hear Poetry at Three (At seven o’ clock, mind you. Don’t show up four hours early because the title has numbers in it), including poets Shanan Ballam, Jesse Betts, Star Coulbrooke, Brock Dethier, Ben Gunsberg, Robb Kunz, and Phil Parisi. This is going to be their fourteenth annual reading, and that number is bigger than ten. This means they are prestigious.

We may also hear from you, if you are so inclined to brighten or complicate our lives with your own creations. I’m so excited to see you all there that I’m going to force my roommates to let me borrow their car.

–Jessica (your new friendly neighborhood Helicon Blogger)

Poetry at Three flier2015

Coming to Helicon this week: Darren Edwards

Hey there Heliconers,

Scratching your head about what to do this Thursday? Well, luckily for you, Helicon West happens to be this week, and we are featuring the one and only Darren Edwards. Darren is a graduate of USU’s English program and a current instructor, slam poet, and overall awesome individual at Dixie State University. He’s leaving sunny St. George and venturing to [equally sunny] Logan, Utah, just to perform for us.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited, then maybe the fact that there will also be individuals from USU’s creative writing club, The Bull Pen, reading their slam poetry to a captive audience. Be prepared to hear from Jeannie Woller, Brittney McDonald, Alex Bullock, Millie Tullis, Jace Smellie, Jordan Roberts, Jeremy Wald, Alyssa Utley and Travis Williams.

After being positively inundated with the spoken word, if you want to contribute your own verse (or essay, or short story, or whatever), bring something to read at the open mic, which will be held at the end of Helicon West. Keep your work to seven minutes and arrive early to sign up lest we run out of spots!

Got all of that? Good. See you on Thursday, March 26th, at 7:00 PM in the Bridger Room of the Logan Library, 255 N. Main.

Keep calm and Helicon,

-Caitlin

Darren Edwards and Bull Pen 2015

Round out February with a little bit of romance…

RaeAnneThayneFeb2015

Hi there Heliconers! I hope you don’t have plans for February 26th already, because if you do, you’ll probably want to cancel them. Helicon West will be featuring New York Times best-selling author, RaeAnne Thayne! That’s right, if you go you can cross “Breathed same air as NYT best selling author” off your bucket list. Who doesn’t want to do that?

Haven’t read the NYT lately? Out of the reading loop? That’s okay! Here’s a bit of info about Mrs. Thayne:

RaeAnne Thayne is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly fifty books. Her books have won many honors, including four RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America, the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and a career achievement award from Romantic Times magazine. Her latest book, SNOW ANGEL COVE, hit the New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists and spent six weeks in the top 15 of Nielson Bookscan’s bestselling romance titles. It is also a finalist in the Romantic Times reviewers’ choice award for contemporary love and laughter.

Her stories – described as “poignant and sweet,” with “beautiful, honest storytelling (that) goes straight to the heart” – have sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. She finds inspiration from the beautiful northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her family.

She sounds like a pretty awesome individual. You should definitely come hear her read her work, and then maybe you can follow in her footsteps (literally) and read your own! Bring seven minutes of whatever-you-want for the open mic portion of the reading, and serenade your audience with poetry, prose, song lyrics, legal jargon…the sky’s your limit!

As always, Helicon will be held in the Jim Bridger room of the Logan City Library, 255 N. Main, at 7:00 PM. Come for the reading, stay for….more reading. and Caffe Ibis coffee. And the camaraderie that comes with a community writing series. And all the things. Hope to see you there!

Keep calm and Helicon,

-Caitlin

Pencil it in! League of Utah Writers on February 12th

Hi there Heliconers!

Got plans for Thursday, February 12th yet? Hope not. Otherwise, you won’t be able to come hear award-winning prose and poetry from the League of Utah Writers winners at Helicon West, and that would be a travesty. I mean, just look at the flier! I’m kind of hoping for a 70’s throwback. But either way, it’ll be great.

LUW Feb 2015

So, pencil it in, and make sure you bring 7 minutes worth of awesome poetry/prose/play/research paper/really-whatever-you-want-as-long-as-it’s-seven-minutes-max, to read at the Open Mic!

As usual, Helicon West will be held at the Logan City Library at 255 N. Main Street and will begin at 7:00 PM. See you there!

Keep calm and Helicon,

-Caitlin

Spring 2015 Schedule

Hi there Heliconers!

Wondering what’s in store for Helicon West this semester? Well, you’re in luck. Look no further for all dates and featured readers for Spring.

February 12

League of Utah Writers contest winners

February 26

 RaeAnne Thayne, novelist

March 26

 Darren Edwards, Dixie State Spoken Word Poet, w/ the USU Bull Pen Slam

April 9

Poetry at Three, local poetry writing group

April 23*

 Scribendi Readers, winners of the USU Creative Writing Contest

*Note that this reading will be held at the Merrill Crazier Library, Rm 101, rather than the Logan City Library.

Make sure you mark your calendars!

Keep calm and Helicon,

-Caitlin