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2020 Utah State Poetry Society Awards

Members of Redrock Writers recently won 29 awards in the 2020 Utah State Poetry Annual Contest. Among the winners were Sue Stevenson Leth, Susan Foster, Markay Brown, Pam Tucker, and Barbara Funke. Barbara was honored with the most mentions and awards while Pam Tucker won the coveted Sweepstakes Award.

Redrock Writers recognized in National Federation of State Poetry Society 2020 contest awards:

Pam Tucker • 2nd Prize • cat. 28 • "Every Word Has a Vowel"
Markay Brown • 1st HM • cat. 2 • "Glass-Winged Butterflies and Angel Fish"
Barbara Funke • 5th HM • cat. 41 • "Cobalt Blue Mood"
Pam Tucker's poem will appear in the 2020 Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS available on


Redrock Writers president Markay Brown has been named UTSPS 2019 Poet of the Year for her book Planted in a Storm, forthcoming in October and available by contacting Markay at

2019 Utah State Poetry Society Awards

Provo was the site of the 2019 UTSPS Poetry Festival this April, National Poetry Month. Throughout the annual Festival, poets belonging to their various chapters throughout the state as well as out of state UTSPS members received awards in 31 sponsored categories.  

Each year the UTSPS celebrates 1st through 3rd places with certificates and sponsored monetary prizes.  The following members of Redrock Writers were recognized for their poems:

Bonnie Anderson:

2nd Place for “A Poet’s Day Starts” in Category 25. (Dorothy & L. Paul Roberts Memorial)
3rd Place for “Keeping Children Nearby” in Category 12. (David & Robert Balph Memorial)
SR in Category 5. (Webb-Kohler Memorial)

Markay Brown:

1st Place for “When is Forever” in Category 30. (Love Poem) 
2nd Place for “Significant Other” in Category 8. (Paul M. Ford Award)
1st HM in Category 12. (Redrock Writers’ Founders Award)
2nd HM in Category 2. (Vera Bakker Memorial Award)
3rd HM in Category 22. (Shoot for the Loot)
SR in Category 10. (Celebrating Small Town Childhood)

Susan Foster:

3rd Place for “Meditation in Spring” in Category 1. (Wild Card)
SR in Category 23. (Sara Zabin Memorial)

Barbara Funke:

1st Place for “Sun scorches paired lanes” in Category 17. (Tanka)
1st HM in Category 16. (Wood Memorial)
2nd HM in Category 29. (Norma Asplund Memorial)
3rd HM in Category 33. (C. S. Watts Award)
SR in Category 2. (Vera Bakker Memor
ial Award)
SR in Category 3. (Ann C. Larson Memorial)
SR in Category 7. (Valley Winds Award)

Sue Leth:

1st Place for “In Sickness and in Health” for Category 19. (Daniel Seth Morrise Award)
2nd HM in Category 9. (Characters)
SR in Category 6. (Word Weavers Award) 
SR in Category 23. (Sara Zabin Memorial)


2019 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Awards

Santa Fe, New Mexico, hosted the 2019 National Convention this June.  Throughout the annual Convention, poets belonging to their state poetry societies and associations received awards in 50 sponsored categories.  

Each year the NFSPS celebrates 1st through 3rd places with certificates, sponsored monetary prizes, and publication in its Encore anthology.  The following members of Redrock Writers were recognized for their poems:

Markay Brown:

3rd Prize for “Undressing Billy Collins” in Category 32. (Ohio Award) 
1st HM in Category 21. (William Stafford Memorial Award)
1st HM in Category 46. (San Antonio Poets Association)

Barbara J. Funke:

1st Prize for “The Invention of Nouns” in Category 30. (CSPS James E. MacWhinney Memorial) 
6th HM in Category 20. (Nevada Poetry Society Award)


At the Utah State Poetry Society’s annual festival held April 21 and 22, 2017, eight poets from Redrock Writers chapter captured 40 awards in various contest categories. 

Poets honored with cash prizes and certificates included Bonnie Anderson, Markay Brown, Fae Ellsworth, Susan Foster, Candy Fowler, Barbara Funke, Sue Leth, and Pam Tucker. Markay Brown won second place in the book publication award category for her manuscript, Glass Wings.  For a complete winners’ list, click here



Golden Anniversary Manuscript Winner 2015 UTSPS

By Candy Li
sh Fowler

"Fowler is a poet who knows how to cut straight to the heart. She approaches pain, her own and others' (she's an empath, so there are many others) . . . She plays the piano, she dances, and she uses her eyes to a depth most people can't reach."
- Lola Haskins Author of fourteen books of poetry, including The Grace to Leave, Desire Lines, and New and Selected Poems.

"... fierce stuff, sharp-edged; if you grab and yank, it cuts deep. In ON A ROAD THAT KNOWS ME, we're given poems as bright as a jar full of morning, poems thankin God for layin down the rain,  poems that wait to catch forgiveness with one good cast. Pick an emotion and this poet's got you covered. And covered well." 
- Rob Carney Ph.D.  Professor of English/Literature at Utah Valley University.  Author of Weather Report and Story Problems.


Redrock Writers depends on the voluntary efforts of Southern Utah writers who participate in our collective learning, write and read their poetry, and help organize and lead our regular activities. We deeply appreciate the contributions of members of UTSPS Dixie Chapter, the Utah State Poetry Society, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, the Heritage Writers Guild and The League of Utah Writers. We also express appreciation to outstanding poets from across America who participate in blind judging our yearly contest.

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