Poetry On Canvas

The line between art, music and poetry is thin.


To many, it doesn’t exist at all.


The three disciplines will be celebrated as one fluid entity at American Fork’s “Poetry on Canvas” gala on March 24 from 7-9 pm. The gala is an enchanting cultural event where poems are read and then interpreted into a variety of mediums by local artists.


“Poetry on Canvas” is both a contest and conference. At the first annual gala last year, the top ten winners were published in an anthology, “Utah Voices.”  Plus the chambers of City Hall were filled and the response was overwhelmingly positive.


This year’s event promises to be grander in scope than the previous year. The conference is drawing locally and nationally recognized professionals to participate. Classes include “Growing the Poem” by Judy Johns, “Breaking the Rules and Other Clichés” by Lee Snell, “Publishing Options for Poetry” and “Clustering as a Tool for Creating Poetry” by Lin Floyd.


But the event will draw in more than poets.


“Six of the poems have been set to music and will be sung by Alice Beesley, a local singer/song writer and published author,” said Program Manager of Humanities for the American Fork Arts Department, Cindy Bechtold. This year’s publication, “Utah Voices & Poetry on Canvas”, will be available for purchase at the Gala.


“Turn of phrase, surprise, visuals, metaphors and similes, different forms, fresh description and strong verbs,” are the ingredients in a good poem, Bechtold said. “Attendees of the poetry conference will walk away equipped with an idea of how to begin, more confidence, fresh ideas and possibly some “funky new friends,” Bechtold said. She encourages aspiring poets to study the writings of their favorite poets, attend classes and conferences, reflect on moments and objects in their worlds more closely and most importantly, to write. Nothing takes the place of actual hands-on practice.


Whether one aspires to write music or poetry, to paint or just appreciate, there is something for every art enthusiast at this special cultural event. According to the American Fork Arts Council, “This project is supported by the Utah Arts Council, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.” As an additional bonus, this event is free of charge, so there is no reason to miss it.


American Fork’s Historic City Hall 

31 N. Church Street.

March 24, 7-9 p.m.


Email Cindy Bechtold at [email protected] to be added to the email list for next year’s submissions for “Poetry on Canvas.” Also, you may email for information on how to join the Utah State Poetry Society chapter in your area.


By Lindsey Nelson

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