Ninth annual Poetry in the Park welcomes Shanan BallamNinth annual Poetry in the Park welcomes Shanan Ballam

Poets to gather in Zion National Park for a daylong workshop entitled “A Celebration of Sound and Sense”

By Pam Tucker

Poets of all ages and levels of experience will benefit from the energetic Poetry in the Park workshop featuring award-winning poet Shanan Ballam March 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Zion Park Lodge. Registration includes a free park pass, a daylong writing workshop, a guided nature walk with a Zion Canyon Field Institute naturalist, and time to write and mingle with other poets.

Ballam teaches creative writing at Utah State University. Her workshop will focus on basic poetic sound techniques such as alliteration and other kinds of sonic repetition. Participants will use their experience in the park to gather sensory details and images for poems. Using the materials they have gathered during the workshop and while exploring the park, they will write poems that will surprise and delight writers and audiences alike.

“Poetry in the Park was started nine years ago by St. George resident and then president of Utah State Poetry Society Laverna Johnson,” said Lin Floyd, organizer and president of Dixie Poets. “LaVerna wanted to give poets everywhere the opportunity to experience the beauty of Zion Park as inspiration to enhance their poetry skills. Outstanding poets through the years have included many poet laureates from Utah and other states. Since its beginnings, Poetry in the Park has expanded to include scholarships for local school and college students, allowing them to spend a day in Zion Park receiving instruction and fellowship from more experienced poets. It has been a memorable experience for me, both as a participant and now director for the last six years, to see poets develop their skills while making connections with other lovers of the written word.”

Cost for the workshop is $55 for adults and $20 for students. Register before Feb. 15 to receive your free park pass in the mail. Registration and ticket information can be found at online, or contact Floyd at for more information.

Poetry in the Park is made possible by a partnership between the Utah State Poetry Society, Zion Natural History Association, and Zion Canyon Field Institute and is partially funded by grants from the Utah State Division of Arts and Museums, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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