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Utah poet laureate visits Price, presents reading

Sun Advocate community editor

Named Utah's poet laureate in 2003, Ken Brewer discussed the honor during a visit to the Price area.

"I was standing there and the governor announced my appointment," noted Brewer. "And then he said, 'This is not just symbolic, it is a working position, but without pay.'"

Brewer is on the road much of the year, making presentations to public groups, teaching youth in public schools and reading poetry to college students.

"It's a great job and I love it," he stated.

Brewer taught for 32 years at Utah State University, Last Thursday, he was in Price, teaching a special class at College of Eastern Utah and presenting a reading in the student cente. Brewer started the program with the works of other Utah writers, including David Lee who was Utah's previous poet laureate.

"He was the very first," said Brewer. "There are about 16 states that have poet laureate. In fact, some of them don't even call it that. They are writers in residence, so they can be short story writers, novelists, etc. But Utah's position is for a poet."

Now retired from a regular teaching regimen, he travels to locations across Utah

"I teach on-line classes for Utah State now," he explained. "I really like that because how a student does is totally dependent on how he or she does their work. It's easier to be objective about their work because I never meet most of them face to face."

Brewer has produced more than 300 individual poems and 10 books of poetry. He has also produced a murder mystery in poetry form.

"I was a British literature major and then I found poetry," commented Brewer. "So it wasn't something I wanted to do from childhood."

Brewer will serve in the position for three years before another poet will be named.

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