Poet on the Porch/Patio - Utah Poet Laureate Lisa Bickmore

  • Posted on: 1 May 2024
  • By: TanyaMills

Headshot of Utah Poet Laureate Lisa Bickmore          Cover of Bickmore's poetry collection, "Ephemerist"

Cover of Bickmore's poetry collection, "flicker"          Cover of Bickmore's poetry collection, "Haste"

Following her guest performance at the local premiere storytelling event, Coyote Tales at the Center for the Performing Arts in Kayenta, the night before, Utah Poet Laureate Lisa Bickmore will offer a Poetry Reading and Workshop on the front porch or back patio of The Book Bungalow beginning at 10:30 am and extending to Noon. Seating for this free event will be limited to 25, so register now!


If you are interested in attending the Coyote Tales event, as well, the night before, there are still $20.00 tickets available here. We will be on hand there selling her books to patrons and she will be available for signing there, as well.



Paisley Rekdal: "I recognized the urge to capture,” Bickmore writes of Audubon’s gorgeous avian portraits, her own desire—like that of the naturalist—to catch a body in flight; to celebrate, in her case, human lives that, over time, both gain and lose memories, loved ones, spiritual beliefs, even a coherent sense of self. Bickmore’s beautiful poems are constantly aware of what lies just outside any individual’s eye, disappearing from view at the very moment of perception. There is no perfect “capturing” of a moment, whether in word or image, despite our deeply human desire to fix the world in memory. Thus the elegant poems ofEphemerist simultaneously celebrate and elegize, meditating on the uncomfortable relationship we’ve built between earthly loss and spiritual gain: part of transcendence’s paradox, which depends upon our losing some part of the world we love in order to gain a greater sense of it."

Scott Cairns: "In this collection, Ephemerist, Lisa Bickmore takes articulate stock of much that is passing before her eyes, and she presses both their presence and their passing for significance.  One happens upon brief consolations along this journey through momentary matter, but the bass note here is willingness, the connective tissue is hope, and the last word is light."

Andrea Hollander: " 'Who can make a true / record from life? Who can tell the story // fairly?' Lisa Bickmore asks. In poem after penetrating poem, she tries, and—in language at once memorable in its expressiveness and exact in its ability to describe what Bickmore sees and feels—she succeeds, all the time attentive to the world outside herself and sharply attuned to the inner lives of others. Few books of poetry, once consumed, leave me feeling “emptied . . . of nearly every desire,” but Lisa Bickmore’s fine collection is filled so abundantly with aesthetically, intellectually, and emotionally quenching poems that after my first journey through its pages, I felt no need to do anything other than read the book again for its myriad pleasures.

David Kirby: "What an apt title! For these poems really do start slowly and then flame into surprise; they’re full of poets, flame-colored cats, children in trees speaking riddles. We’re in a low-flying plane over an American of diners, small-town post offices, and blood banks, and pilot Lisa Bickmore is smiling over her shoulder at us as she dips toward the next orchard, the next insight."

Katherine Coles: “Flicker like a bird, flicker like a flame, flicker like a ghost or a motion caught in the corner of the eye—what beautiful poems these are, laden with grief, aflame with passion and regret, alight with love, alive. Whatever acts or words this speaker have to repent—and these poem are driven by penance, and to it—every word here redeems its own performance.”





Born in Dover, Delaware, Lisa Bickmore grew up living all over the United States and in Japan. She is the author of three books of poems: Haste (Signature Books, 1994), flicker, which won the 2014 Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press, and Ephemerist (Red Mountain Press, June 2017).

Her poetry, scholarship, and video work have been published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Tar River Poetry; Sugar House Review; SouthWord; Caketrain; Hunger Mountain Review; Terrain.org; Bite Size Poems project (Utah Arts Council); Quarterly WestThe Moth; MappingSLC.orgFire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poetsand elsewhere. In 2015, her poem 'Eidolon' was awarded the Ballymaloe International Poetry Award.

She earned a B.A. and an M.A. from Brigham Young University. She is Professor Emeritus of English at Salt Lake Community College, where she was the recipient of the SLCC Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 2006. At SLCC, she taught writing of all sorts, as well as publication studies, and is one of the founders of the SLCC Publication Center.

As of 2019, she is the founder of the new nonprofit Lightscatter Press, which published its first book in April of 2021. Read about its mission of multimodal literary publishing, calls for submission, and the shop​. You can support Lightscatter Press here.

In the summer of 2022, she was named Utah's Poet Laureate by Governor Spencer J. Cox. Read about the poet laureate position here



Event address: 
94 West Tabernacle Street
Front Porch or Back Patio
St. George, UT 84770-4087