Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My (brief, necessarily biased) review of the current state of Mormon poetry was published in the latest issue of Mormon Artist. Here's something to whet your appetite:

[T]here seems to be an increasing number of (as best I can tell) believing Mormon poets making names for themselves beyond the Mormon journals and publishing houses—those like the core group reviewed below [Lance Larsen, Javen Tanner, Scott Warren Hatch, Philip White, Neil Aitken, Kimberly Johnson, Mark Bennion, and Karen Kelsay] and the many more I don’t have space to mention here. Taken together, these poets compose a concentrated dose of our literary kin who are making noticeable splashes in the American mainstream, such as may or may not be happening in the more visible genres (the novel, for instance).

I’m not certain whether this increasing movement of our poets into the national spotlight (a) warrants the “Golden Age” appellation or (b) is “commonly known” among a broader audience than the few devout followers of contemporary American poetry who happen to have an interest in those mainstream poets who are also Mormon (or is it those mainstream Mormons who are also successful poets?). However, I am certain the field of contemporary Mormon poetry is “already to harvest” (D&C 4:4)—again—and that this trend and these poets deserve more of our community’s attention.