Poet Laureate of Ogden

The Poet Laureate of Ogden serves as the official ambassador of literary culture, using their position as a platform from which to promote the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word through all parts of the community. Ogden City Arts is hoping to raise the community consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry while supporting literary arts, ephemeral arts, and a vibrant art scene in Ogden City.

The Poet Laureate serves a 2-year term with the option of a second term. They are asked to make appearances at public events such as Mayor’s Awards in the Arts, City Council Meetings, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, etc. At these events, the Poet Laureate performs a reading of their own writings, or of another author/poet that best fits the occasion.

This position requires dedication in promoting literary education in our schools and communities. The Poet Laureate also seeks to bring poetry to the people in Ogden who have limited access or exposure to the literary arts.

Book the Poet Laureate

Ogden City's current Poet Laureate is Angelika Brewer

Angelika Brewer is a writer, an artist and a creativity enthusiast from Ogden, Utah.

She was taught to read, write and embrace her creativity by her teenage mother and her almost entirely blind grandmother. This everlasting act of love was the foundation for a lifetime of creative pursuits. Angelika poured herself into notebook pages and easels for her entire childhood, promising that one day, she'd build a career out of her big ideas and her drive to bring them to fruition. A gentle push to a microphone from a high school English teacher brought Angelika into the world of Spoken Word Poetry. Along with her existing love of art and literature, an additional passion blossomed for works intended to be heard. She was invited back to her high school after graduation to teach students about Spoken Word Poetry and the power of creativity. She began visiting other schools and public events across Utah, sharing poetry, teaching workshops, and inspiring others to create. She has been a featured speaker at the Utah Conference for Teachers of English, Kiwanis Club, Ogden Pride Festival, PBS Utah, Standard Examiner online, Utah Arts Festival, Ogden Arts Festival, Literary Deathmatch, Concrete Rose, "Write About Now" cypher and many other events. Angelika self-published and self-bound a chapbook titled "I Don't Want to Miss You," and published in the compilation "First Moon Manual," and has over 100 digital publishings. She has coordinated poetry slams, open mics, art shows and mixed arts events in Utah cities. She is a freelance writer of anything that needs to be written, with a special interest in journalism, blog posts, essays and instructional content. Angelika was the 2017 Ogden Pride Poetry Competition winner, a coach for "Ogden Slam Team" in 2017, a judge at the "Poetry Out Loud" state slam in 2019, a 2021 runner-up in the "Utah Arts Festival" team slam with her artist collective "O-Town Dream Team," along with other awards and recognitions. 

Angelika Brewer is an informally trained and self-taught writer, with all of her knowledge coming from writing workshops with award winning authors and poets, self-study, live experience and a love of learning. Above all, she is an advocate for the arts, an avid supporter of the creative community, and a proud flaunter of her humongous collection of art, books, and music- all created by local and upcoming artists

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Below are some informational links you can use to learn more about Angelika and see some examples of her poetry.

angelikabrewer.com

Facebook: Signed, A.B.

Instagram: signed_a.b

Email: angelikabrewer@gmail.com


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Ogden Ar(t)chives Mailbox

The Ogden Ar(t)chives Mailbox is a multi-purpose community project started by the Ogden City Poet Laureate, Angelika Brewer. The community is invited to participate in dropping the first submissions into the mailbox at a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for 6 pm on Friday, February 3, 2023, at the Corner, located at 2501 Washington Blvd. Ogden, Utah. 

The mailbox will then be open to the public and used to collect future submissions. Creations on paper or thin two-dimensional works that fit into the submission slot will be accepted. The contents of the mailbox will be a compilation of literary artworks made by the residents and visitors of Ogden City. 

“As a writer, I find it interesting how the personal writing of individuals has been a way for historians and researchers to piece together historical timelines and determine facts. Archives of correspondence are often a primary source of information. I thought to myself, what if the public had an opportunity to tell the stories that will be read by historians about their communities?” said Angelika Brewer, Ogden’s Poet Laureate.

How it works: The mailbox is a metal sculpture with obscured measurements created by Daniel Christensen, with added decorative elements done by Angelika Brewer and her father, Troy Brewer. The mailbox is designed to garnish attention and spark the realization that a person can interact with it. The community can open the door and find a compartment with paper and pens for use and an enlarged "mail" slot for accommodating the potential of oversized submissions. The works can be signed or submitted anonymously. 

Each week the Ogden Mailbox social media accounts will post one submission from the mailbox. Submissions collected for the year will be compiled into an annual community art show for the public to enjoy before they are archived in the city records at the Union Station.

Be sure to check out the submissions with the social media accounts below.

Instagram - @ogden_mailbox TikTok - @signed.ab Facebook – Ogden Mailbox


Local literary events in Ogden

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Some poems by Angelika Brewer: 


UNTAMED

I am a child of a “rough and tumble” city,

born of railroad tracks, newspaper clippings

and bootlegged beer bottles too sentimental to toss.

Distant suburbs speak ghost stories about our urban

sidewalks and the way they are too full at the wrong hours.

They make warning of Electric Alley and the rebel voices

you would hear in the basement if ever it were quiet enough.

Changing the world has always been loud.

The face of a city is never as interesting as its heart,

but you can only feel it beating if you’re willing to get close.

If you peek around the corner of infamy,

you will find the set of your favorite movie.

If you walk inside the abandoned building,

you will find the workforce that runs a country.

If you duck under the viaduct,

you will find the junction of two halves once divided.

If you hike beyond the sanitarium,

you will find the canyon’s mouth and her Aspen teeth,

all bright white for the winter and paint stained in the fall.

If you brave the epicenter of risk-taking,

you will find the beauty in growing up untamed,

in a mountain’s palm–in the traveler’s muse.

The distant suburbs will warn you

of what can happen in a rough and tumble town–

how you will find the song

you’ve waited your whole life to hear

from a street performer on a historic road,

or how you will find yourself

inspired by the art plastered to the brick

of the restaurant with the best breakfast food

you’ve ever tasted,

You will find creations,

makeshift,

by our resident’s tough hands

and natural,

by Mother Earth’s soft grace.

            __________

Writing a Villanelle at the Vigil

It was only a dream which caused quite the fright,

jackhammer chest and rain on my forehead,

but when I woke up, I had been up all night.

I sat in my bed and flipped on the light,

swore I heard your last breath blare.

It was only a dream which caused quite the fright.

A morning blaming eye-bags on jet lag from a flight,

laid my head to get some rest,

but when I woke up, I had been up all night.

Spent the afternoon trying my hardest to write

the eulogy, the obituary–the reminder:

“It was only a dream which caused quite the fright.”

I swore I would find you before next daylight,

tried to meet you in my head asleep,

but when I woke up, I had been up all night.

They told me you gasped and your soul took flight,

I shout, as if loudness could make it more true,

“It was only a dream which caused quite the fright.”

But, when I woke up, I had been up all night.


               ____________

Yes,

I have

paddled myself back to safety,

have nurtured my own aching.

have bandaged my own wounds.

I have

fought a brutal fight for this body

to love every cranny of itself,

have taught it to breathe,

even when it didn’t want to.

I have

trained my tongue to flick

the word capable all around

the inside of my mouth

and my teeth to hold it in

so it doesn’t get lost in the gasp

of all of this being awake

and staying alive.

But,

you, with

the boat in the first place,

with the soup and the first-aid kit.

You, with

the sword and the chalkboard

and the dictionary.

You are

also to blame

for this blooming.

          __________

if we stopped writing love poems, they would still exist


roses are red

roses are also yellow

i like those ones better

and you remember

the way a bird waits

until it is warm again

to make new birds

so its mate isn’t migrating,

heavy or without her eggs,

or a nurse holds hands

with a life ending alone

and cries in the break room

where they leave all of the extra

for the next

rain or snow

which will carve a new trail

to the confluence of old storms

the same way you do for me.

what is a lake if not a church

full of raindrops?

a cloud’s tears

to bathe in?

baptize the ground

with the sky,

let a teenager jump

into a holy place

with a congregation

of bad-influence friends

and they will smile for hours

if you come home with yellow roses

because you remembered

how a baby will smell

for their mother

before they can see well

and a mother will feel

for her baby

because she can’t sleep well

without knowing

you are breathing

you remember

and you can feel

her cells in your body

dancing to the heart song

you sing to yourself

on a walk home

you might see yellow roses

and think of me

and if you do,

i like them the best

because they show us

how love is not always

red romance and moonlit evening,

but also a grandmother’s

vegetable garden in the spring

or a store-bought birthday card

with only a signature in it.

love lands wherever

it is invited

to stay