Please join us Thursday September 23rd at 7PM at the Utah State University Amphitheater to hear Chadd VanZaanten read from his new collection, On Fly-Fishing on the Bear River Watershed.
Helicon West is free, uncensored, and open to all ages. An open mic will follow the reading. Cafe Ibis coffee provided.
The USU Amphitheater is located on the southern side of Old Main Hill and is wheelchair accessible from the bottom south-west corner and top north-east corner of Old Main Hill. Parking is available at the bottom of Old Main and in some USU Parking Lots after 5PM.
Please join us on Thursday September 9th at the Stokes Nature Center in Logan Canyon to hear readings from the writers behind Soul, Sand & Sky: Stories and Poems from the Great Outdoors, an anthology from The Writer’s Cache!
Josi Russell’s science fiction novels explore familiar human relationships in unfamiliar contexts. She currently teaches creative writing and fiction courses as an Associate Professor of English for Utah State University Eastern. She lives in the alien landscape of the high desert American Southwest with her family and a giant tortoise named Caesar. Josi is captivated by the fields of linguistics, mathematics, and medicine, by the vast unknown beyond our atmosphere, and by the whole adventure of being human.
Join us on July 22nd at the Whittier Center in Logan (290 N 400 E), 7PM through 8:30PM. Our featured reader will be our own coordinator Britt Allen, presenting her new chapbook Harvest, being published this month by Finishing Line Press!
Our June Helicon West will be in person once again, held at the beautiful outdoor space of the Utah State University’s Amphitheater with plenty of fresh air and social distancing space for all! Masks will not be required, but please do what makes you feel most comfortable and safe and respect the boundaries of others.
Our featured reader will be Laura Stott, the author of two collections of poetry Blue Nude Migration (Lynx House Press, 2020) and In the Museum of Coming and Going (New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2014). Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in various publications, including Barrow Street, Sugar House Review, Western Humanities Review, Copper Nickel and Mid-American Review. In 2020 she received an Ogden City Mayor’s Award in the Arts for making a difference in the community through the Literary Arts in Ogden, Utah. She holds an M.F.A. from Eastern Washington University and teaches at Weber State University.
On May 27th at 7PM MST, Helicon West will be hosting the winners of Utah State University’s 2021 Creative Writing contest! This annual event is making its Zoom debut and will be hosted by Interim Contest Director Russ Beck.
Be sure to join us for an incredible Helicon on April 22nd! Our featured readers for this month are brought to you by the Utah State University Inclusion Center.
Amand L. Hardiman is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Utah State University (USU). His research interests focus on: (a) the intersectionality of student-athlete identity (e.g., race, class, religion, and family); (b) organizational culture (i.e., secondary and higher education) and leadership development and (c) student-athlete development and career outcomes. Before pursuing his doctoral studies at USU, Amand obtained his Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and Bachelor of Science in Sport Management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition to his research, Amand has coaching experience in high school and collegiate athletics. He devotes time to diversity and inclusion work as a founding member of the Graduate Students of Color Association (GSCA) and serving on several diversity committees. Amand is an author, motivational speaker, and is the founder and executive director of LearnYou Academy.
Gail Kingsbury is an 81-year-old retired teacher’s assistant who spent 30 years in a high school in Kansas City, Mo. Gail was the sponsor of a club she initiated, Students Open Suggestion (SOS), Crime Stoppers Club, Students Against Violence, and Peer Mediation. She was a trained mediator and trained her high school mediators to teach kids how to learn to deal with their conflicts without violence.Gail had written stories since she was in high school but had never tried to publish one. With the coronavirus epidemic she wrote a book, Grandma Tells Why, where she tried to answer simple questions a child would ask about what is happening in the world. Her granddaughter asked her to include something about racism in the book, but Gail wanted to keep it focused on the virus and promised to write another –about racism. She did not want to make up a story so she asked Amand Hardiman, a best friend of her grandson, to write his experiences. Adam, a story about Roots, Racism and Friendship was born.
Topic: Helicon West
Time: April 22, 2021 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Helicon West returns Thursday March 25th at 7PM on Zoom! Siân Griffiths lives in Ogden, Utah, where she teaches creative writing at Weber State University. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, American Short Fiction, and Booth among many other publications. She is the author of the novels Borrowed Horses and Scrapple and the short fiction chapbook The Heart Keeps Faulty Time. Currently, she reads fiction as part of the editorial teams at Barrelhouse and American Short Fiction. For more information, please visit sbgriffiths.com The featured reading will be followed by the open mic portion of the event, during which everyone is invited to share up to seven minutes of their own original work. “See” you there!
Here is our beautiful flyer by Chadd VanZanten! Make sure to share it with your beloveds and bring something to read!
Helicon West will be returning this spring as a monthly Zoom event from 7:00PM to 8:30PM on the fourth Thursday of each month. We are excited to be going forward with a new coordinator, Britt Allen, as well as many new community partnerships, including Sugar House Review! Voluptuous flyers for our spring events will be landing in your inbox soon, but here are the dates and readers we have coming up this season so you can mark your calendars:
January 28th: OPEN MIC Theme: Rewrite
February 25th: Natalie Rogers & Amber Caron
March 25th: Sian Griffiths
April 22nd: “Rebel / Unite,” featuring the USU Inclusion Center
As mentioned above, Helicon will be purely Zoom-based this spring. The Zoom Meeting ID and Password will be included on each event flyer, so keep an eye out for those and share with all your social media platforms!
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…
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 MormonDad. 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!
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!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
This is not directly related to Helicon West, but the Utah Poetry Festival is coming up, and there will be a wide variety of opportunities on that day for anyone who would like to attend. Information concerning the events and registration is on the flier.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂
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!
Ok, this upcoming Helicon West is going to be a fantastic experience. We will be treated to hearing from some of the best students USU has to offer! Come, listen, ask questions, and meet great people on December 6th at 7:00PM in the Logan Library!
Do you love fantasy? Are you also inclined to support Aggie authors? Well, Tyler Whitesides makes the perfect combination for you! Come meet and hear Tyler during this month’s Helicon West in the Logan Library Bridger Room at 7:00, October 11th!