Red Butte Garden Calls for Nature-Inspired Poetry Submissions for National Poetry Month


Red butte Garden in winter

By Casey Koldewyn

Red Butte Garden is not just a space where students can escape to nature and take a break from their busy school schedules; come spring, it will also be a space for poetry.

During National Poetry Month in April, Red Butte will post poems from local artists throughout the gardens. Anyone older than five can submit their work until Feb. 20 to [email protected] The garden is only accepting one piece per person, and each piece should be nature-inspired — specifically, spring at Red Butte Garden — and no more than 24 lines in length.

LaraLee Smith, who is in charge of Family Programs at Red Butte Garden, started this tradition last spring because she wanted the garden to break out of its traditional seasonal displays. Last year she received 55 entries and chose 11 of them to place in boxes at Red Butte Garden, forming a sort of poetry walk.

In addition to having their work displayed, the winning authors also recorded themselves reading their poems in collaboration with KUER so visitors could hear and listen to the work throughout April. Smith said this may be a possibility this year as well, but it isn’t certain yet.

Smith said visitors will also have the opportunity to go on a garden poetry walk, where contest winners read the work aloud and are able to enjoy an evening at Red Butte, the details of which are still being hammered out.

Smith said submitting a poem is “a great way to get recognized.” Although these works won’t be a part of any kind of official collection, they can be accessed by anyone visiting the garden during April, bringing a kind of notoriety not often available through poetry classes and poetry groups on campus.

In addition to the many great aspects about the event, including allowing interested poets to improve their skills, Smith said it also helps to promote visiting the Red Butte Garden and viewing it as a source of inspiration.

The garden is free to all students with a valid UID.

Those interested should submit now. Smith said they have already received 23 submissions.

[email protected]