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Past Presenters

Faculty 2019

Kimberly Johnson
Kimberly Johnson

Writing the Senses

Kimberly Johnson is a poet, translator, and literary critic as well as BYU professor of poetry and Renaissance literature, advocating for attention to the most specific detail in both perception and language.  Her collections of poetry include Leviathan with a Hook, A Metaphorical God, and Uncommon Prayer.  She has also published book-length translations of Virgil and Hesiod.  Her various works have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Slate, and Modern Philology.  Recipient of grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation, Johnson lives in Salt Lake City with her two sons.

Amy Jarecki
Amy Jarecki

Writing Heart-Stopping Historical Fiction

Amy Jarecki is a multi-award-winning and Amazon All-Star author with 29 books in print.  She currently studies karate and can be found hiking around Saint George.  Grabbing life and reaching for the stars, she has reinvented herself a number of times:  she sang and danced with the Follies, was a ballet dancer, a plant manager, and an accountant in Australia. After earning her MBA from Heroit-Watt University in Scotland, she dived into the world of historical romance and hasn’t returned. Learn more about her books on 

Reuben Wadsworth
Reuben Wadsworth

The Art of Seeing

Reuben Wadsworth earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from USU and a Master of Arts in history from UNLV.  He devoted his graduate research and Master’s thesis to the history of national park transportation, most notably Zion National Park’s shuttle system. Once a sports reporter for Deseret News, sports editor for Iron County Today, grant writer, and travel writer, he transitioned to teaching.  He reports for St. George News, exploring historical details about alluring places within the region. Returned to his native Hurricane to make a permanent home with his wife and three daughters, he teaches English and creative writing at Hurricane Middle School as well as history at DSU.

Faculty 2018

Elegant Solutions

Shanan Ballam teaches creative writing at Utah State University and was named the 2014 Lecturer of the Year for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several literary journals, most recently in DIAGRAM and Tar River Poetry. She is the author of the chapbook The Red Riding Hood Papers (Finishing Line 2010) and the full-length poetry collection Pretty Marrow (Negative Capability 2013). A semi-finalist for the Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes, the May Swenson Award, the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and the Louise Bogan Award, in 2012 Pretty Marrow received first place in the Utah Division of Arts and Museum’s Original Writing Contest, judged by Sue Walker, former Poet Laureate of Alabama. In 2013, Shanan was appointed to the Utah Arts Council Board of Directors where she served a four-year term. 

The Power of Creative Imagery in Prose

Dr. Cindy King is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Dixie State University and Faculty Editor of DSU’s The Southern Quill and Route 7 Review. She also serves on the Artistic Committee of the Blank Theatre in Hollywood, California, reading scripts for their Living Room Series

Winner of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Workshop and the Agha Shahid Ali Scholarship in Poetry from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she was recently a Furious Flower Poetry Center Fellow at James Madison University.

Her work is published in Callaloo, North American Review, Cincinnati Review, American Literary Review, jubilat, TriQuarterly, Black Bird, River Styx, Cimarron, Black Warrior, Barrow Street, The Pinch, Cincinnati Review, and NASTY WOMEN POETS: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.  It can be heard online on NPR’s Weekend America, The Cortland Review, and Rhino Poetry.

The Art of Seeing

Lara Candland is the author of The Lapidary's Nosegay in the Rocky Mountain Poet's Series (Colorado State University's Center for Literary Publishing) and of Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree.  She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and appeared in many journals.

Candland writes plays, libretti, and hybrid genres, and is a co-founder and librettist for Seattle Experimental Opera and Deseret Experimental Opera.  Most recently, The Beekeeper's Journal was premiered by DEXO in October 2017.  Her work has been recorded and performed internationally.

Faculty 2017

Joel Long

Rhythm and Muse

Joel Long’s book Winged Insects (1999) won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize.  His books Lessons in Disappearance and Knowing Time by Light (2010) were published by Blaine Creek Press.  Chapbooks Chopin’s Preludes and Saffron Beneath Every Frost were published from Elik Press.  His poems appear in Interim, Gulf Coast, Rhino, Bitter Oleander, Crab Orchard Review, Bellingham Review, Sou'wester, Prairie Schooner, Willow Springs, The Pinch, Quarterly West, and Seattle Review and anthologies American Poetry: the Next Generation, Essential Love, Fresh Water, and I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. 

Tanya Parker Mills

Finding the Poetry in Prose

Tanya Parker Mills won several awards for her first novel, The Reckoning, including the 2010 Writers Digest International Self-Published Book Award for Mainstream/Literary Fiction. A Night on Moon Hill, her second novel and a 2012 Whitney Finalist, blends poetry with prose. She grew up overseas and lived through two revolutions in Iraq, but now lives a much quieter life, writing fiction and narrating and producing audiobooks in Southern Utah with her husband, her high-functioning autistic son, and their cat Anastasia. 

Rosemerry Wahtola-Trommer

Paradox in Poetry - how a poem turns

The poetry of Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer has appeared in O Magazine, TEDx, Rattle, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and in her children’s lunch boxes. She has 11 collections of poetry, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Groups for which she’s taught poetry are Think 360, Craig Hospital, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Weehawken Arts, Camp Coca Cola, meditation retreats, 12-step recovery programs, hospice, and others. She earned her MA in English Language & Linguistics at UW-Madison. One word-mantra: Adjust

Faculty 2016

Dr. David J. Rothman

Arrive at the intellect by way of the heart

David J. Rothman is one of the best poets in the United States today. He should be as popular as Billy Collins if there is any justice in the world. “Part of the Darkness and David’s other books, including The Book of Catapults, are brilliant and entertaining . . . often at the same time. He’s a genius,” says David Klawitter, Chris Ransick says, “These poems disarm me. I come to them like any reader might, ‘bowing to the terrible world’ only to find Rothman whispering, ‘Now you must give up those cares for charms.’

Marleen Bussma

Passing It On

Marleen Bussma was raised on a small farm in North Dakota where horses and cows were part of daily life. Herding cattle on horseback stirred her imagination so that she wanted to be just like Dale Evans. Farm stories and intriguing tales of the Old West have had a big influence on her writing. A wordsmith dealing with the plight of the West’s women ranging from frontier days to modern farm and ranch times, Marleen has won nine Art Spur Awards from and served as director for the Annual Mesquite, NV, Western Roundups in 2014-15. She is retired  and lives in Dammeron Valley, UT. Her current CD is Scrapin’ By.

Brian Passey

Get Lost

After graduating from the University of Idaho in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in English, Brian went on to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies where he attended its summer fellowship for college graduates as a writing fellow. As a reporter at the Spectrum & Daily News in St. George, Utah, he covered city and county government for two years before moving over to the Spectrum's features desk, writing for the Southern Utah Life section of the paper, St. George Magazine, and a variety of weekly publications. Since November 2005 he has worked as a Utah correspondent for USA TODAY, writing three or four stories each year for that publication.

Marilyn Richardson

Tension in Prose: Why It Matters

Marilyn W. Richardson, Ivins, was a dance educator at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, a position she loved. Since retiring to St. George in 1994, she’s devoted her creative energies to writing. She served as president of the League of Utah Writers as well as serving three terms as chapter president of Heritage Writers Guild. She also belongs to Utah State Poetry Society.

Faculty 2015

Lola Haskins


Lola is a huge fan of Utah and Utah poets. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, London Review of Books, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. Among her awards are the Iowa Poetry Prize, two Florida book prizes, two NEAs, and the Emily Dickinson Award from the PSA. She teaches for Rainier Writer’s Workshop, a low-residency MFA based in Tacoma, WA. Her most recent book (of thirteen) is The Grace to Leave (Anhinga, 2012).

Sondra Fraleigh


Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York, is a dancer, writer, and teacher of dance and yoga. For the past twenty years, she
has been developing independently of academia through her Eastwest Somatics Institute, which offers international retreats. Having published eight books and many articles on dance and philosophy, she enlivens her theoretical writing with poetry and likes to perform poetry. Learn more at

Shane D. Williams


Shane shares his unique humor through writing, drawing, motivational speaking, and stand-up comedy. For nearly 10 years he has focused mostly on writing humorous children’s poetry, used in classrooms around the world. His website, featured in the Boston Globe, has become one of the world’s most visited “poetry for kids” websites. Shane has written and illustrated The Endless Achoo!, All Mixed Up!, and the award-winning The Sun Is on Fire!

Warren Stucki, M.D.


Warren is the founding member of Southern Utah Urology, practicing medicine and surgery in St. George, Utah for 35 years. The author of four novels in two genres, historical non-fiction and medical mystery/thriller, he is under contract to Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Hemorrhage and four more novels in his Dr. Cooper Series. His screenplay Refuge From The Storm was recently made into a short film, and he is working on a stage play.

Faculty 2014

John Calvin Rezmerski

The Voices That Are Great Within Us

John's work has appeared widely in magazines, anthologies and books, including Held for Questioning, An American Gallery, What Do I Know?, and Breaking the Rules. For 35 years he taught at Gustavus Adolphus College, entertained hundreds of community audiences live and on radio, and organized conferences and workshops. He has earned a National Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Riesling Award for science fiction poetry, and the Devins Award. He served five years as Poet Laureate of the League of Minnesota Poets. Learn more at

Sue Ranglack

Flashbulb Writing: Words that Leave an Afterimage

Sue was named Utah State Poetry Society's Poet of the Year in 2006 when her manuscript Shouting from the Book of Orange won the Pearle Olsen Manuscript Competition. Mobius, Comstock Review, Byline, and Encore, among others, have featured her work.  Her chapbook, Running in Place, won the 2004 College Manuscript Competition sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and was published by that organization.  A University of Utah graduate, she teaches creative writing to middle school students in the Canyons School District. She feels her greatest accomplishment is helping excite students about poetry, writing, and immersion in the creative process.

Lyman Dayton

The Power of Visual Art in Motion

Lyman has produced, written and directed 17 films over 35 years. They include Where The Red Fern Grows, Seven Alone, and Against a Crooked Sky.  When he moved from Southern California to Santa Clara and discovered Southern Utah’s abundant and varied locations, he continued film making with Solo, Red Fury, On Our Own, and Last Resort.  Dayton reserves his efforts for films that elevate the human spirit.  Currently, he is working with the author of Train to Potevka and Van Gogh in Manhattan.  His completed films continue to play on television and sell worldwide on DVD.

Dorothy J. Varney 

Travel to Success:Travel Writing for Fun and Profit

Dorothy enjoyed a career in the travel industry before beginning to write about travel. As a tour guide in Los Angeles, she not only led shore excursions for ships but also operated a greeting service for most major cruise lines on the west coast. For three years she wrote a monthly travel column and published articles in magazines and newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times Sunday Travel Section.

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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