Literary Arts

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums has been supporting Utah’s literary community for more than 50 years. The Utah Original Writing Competition began in 1958 and has since expanded to other offerings.

Original Writing Competition

The annual Utah Original Writing Competition has won national respect because of the reputation of its judges and the honors received by its winners. For more than 50 years, this competition has honored some of Utah’s finest writers with public recognition, career assistance, and cash prizes.

Poet Laureate

Utah initiated its Poet Laureate program in 1997. The Poet Laureate is a Governor-appointed advocate for literature and the arts throughout the state. The Poet Laureate is available for readings at public events and in venues including libraries, universities, and schools. To request a Poet Laureate visit, please fill out this form.

Mapping Literary Utah

Our Utah Poet Laureate 2017-2022, Paisley Rekdal, expanded on her Mapping Salt Lake City project to create a wonderful literary resource called Mapping Literary Utah. This beautiful website is a collection that aims to chart the state’s expansive literary landscape.

Poetry Central

Created by Lance Larsen, Utah Poet Laureate 2012-2017, our Poetry Central page is a valuable clearinghouse of information and writing prompts for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in reading and writing poetry.

Bite-Size Poetry

Bite-Size Poetry started in 2009 as the brainchild of Katharine Coles, Utah Poet Laureate 2006-2012. She invited notable Utah poets to write a poem they could read aloud in one or two minutes, and the poets were videotaped reading their poetry. The program so far has run from 2009-2011 and in 2015, with production provided by KUED-TV in the early years and by TWIG Media Lab in 2015.

"Literary organizations are an important part of the community of writers and artists, and I am grateful to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and to the Literary Arts program for advocating and supporting me."

— Utah Original Writing Competition Winner


Alyssa Hickman Grove
Communications/Marketing and Literary Arts Manager