Helicon West is a featured readers/open-mic readings series held most second and fourth Thursdays of the month during USU semesters at 7:00 PM in the Bridger Room at the Logan Library (255 N Main St). Also, there are usually monthly summer events organized by community members and graduate students. Click here for the upcoming schedule. At all events, creative writers are invited to read up to 7 minutes of their original work. Readings are free, open to the public, and uncensored. Free Caffe Ibis coffee is usually available.
In order to give the literary arts more exposure and accessibility and to promote diversity and democracy in the valley, Helicon West provides a regularly-scheduled place and time for members of the writing community to give their work a public voice, with no restrictions on levels of skill and no censorship of ideas or craft. We feature published authors of local, regional, and national acclaim and invite unpublished and aspiring writers from every walk of life to read their work to an appreciative audience.
Star Coulbrooke, director of the USU Writing Center in the department of English, dreamed for years of starting an open reading series where students and community members could read their writing. In spring 2005, she met with Michael Sowder, a professor of creative writing who had the same dream, and they talked about ways to get something started. Sowder suggested the name Helicon West after the Greek mountain where the mythological muses lived.
The first event in fall 2005 had 11 people in attendance. Subsequent readings steadily drew more participants and audience members. The first event with featured readers was a February, 2006 memorial to the late Utah Poet Laureate Kenneth Brewer. Since then, USU faculty, out-of-town poets and writers, book authors, USU creative writing contest winners, local poetry groups, and others have been featured.
Locations over the years have included a conference room at the University Inn (2005), Citrus & Sage coffee shop (2006-2008), True Aggie Cafe (2008-2011), Citrus & Sage again (2011-2012) and the Logan Library (2012-present).