Utah@125: Supporting Utah writers, nine readings at a time

By Ellen Fagg Weist

More than 40 writers will tell true stories about contemporary Utah in simultaneous readings to mark Indie Bookstore Day on April 30.

Eight readings will take place across the state at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at bookstores from Logan to Provo, with an additional reading on Zoom hosted by Torrey House Press (Register here). The series will conclude with at 5 p.m. reading at Salt Lake City’s Weller Book Works. All of the readings are free.

A lineup of writers will read their Utah@125 short piece in each location. The readings will feature former state poet laureates, as well as slam poets, novelists, playwrights, journalists, and essayists.

One hundred twenty five writers were commissioned to write 125-word flash nonfiction works or poems, one word to mark each year of Utah’s statehood. The pieces are published in a digital collection with six chapters, part of last year’s wide-ranging Thrive125 cultural celebration of the state’s anniversary. (Stay tuned for information about a print publication of Utah@125 to come later this year.)

The Utah@125 events are thought to be the state’s first simultaneous reading series. “The cool thing is the idea of Utah stories being told by writers across the state — at the same time,” said Anne Holman, co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop, who partnered with the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement to plan the readings. “I can’t think of a better way to represent the diversity of Utah’s literary voices, as well as the strength of our bookstores.”

As a celebration of Utah’s writers and community bookstores, the project is sponsored by the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, Utah Arts & Museums, Torrey House Press, and Utah’s independent bookstores.


3 p.m. >> Logan’s The Book Table, 29 S. Main Street

Writers: Shawn Bliss, Ben Gunsberg, Kimberly Ence, Willy Palomo, and Chadd VanZanten.

3 p.m. >> Ogden’s Queen Bee Giftery, 270 25th Street
Writers: Tyler Chadwick, Jayrod Garrett, Michael Gross, Joel Long, and Sydney Salter.

3 p.m. >> Salt Lake City’s Ken Sanders Rare Books at The Leo, 209 E. 500 South

Writers: Rob Carney, Stephen Dark, Lance Larsen, Jeremy Pugh, and Kathryn Knight Sonntag.

3 p.m. >> Salt Lake City’s King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East.

Writers: Bill Dunford, Dawn Houghton, Lynn Kilpatrick, Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, and Kimberly Johnson.

3 p.m. >> Sandy’s The Printed Garden, 9445 S. Union Square, Suite A.

Writers: Karin Anderson, Jai Bashir, Lisa Bickmore, Reb Cuevas, and Lindsay Eagar.

3 p.m. >> Park City’s Dolly’s Books, 510 Main Street.

Writers: Lee Benson, Phyllis Barber, Lyn McCarter, and Teri Orr.

3 p.m. >> Provo’s Pioneer Books, 450 W. Center Street

Writers: James Goldberg, Julie Nichols, Tiana Smith, Tim Slover, Larkin Weyand, and Maleah Day Warner.

3 p.m. >> Torrey House Books hosts a Zoom reading. Register here.
Writers: Marilyn Abildskov, Danielle Beazer Dubrasky, Taylor Fang, Todd Robert Peterson, Erica Soon Olsen, Natasha Saje, and Brooke Williams.

5 p.m. >> Salt Lake City’s Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square.

Writers: Lisa Carricaburu, Amy Donaldson, David Pace, Rosie Gochnour Serago, Sylvia Torti, RJ Walker, and Bryan Young.