"I want to get through the curtain of things as they appear, to things as they are, and then into the larger, wilder space of things as they are becoming."
- May Swenson
Shanan Ballam was recently named Poet Laureate for the city of Logan, Utah. Her new poetry collection Inside the Animal: The Collected Red Riding Hood Poems, a semi-finalist for the 2017 Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award and a finalist for the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize Poetry Book Competition from Inlandia Press, was published by Main Street Rag in June 2019. It is available for purchase here: Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.
Shanan is a Senior Lecturer for the Utah State University English Department where she teaches poetry writing and composition. She is also the Internship Coordinator and the Poetry Faculty Advisor for Sink Hollow: An Undergraduate Literary Magazine. Shanan was named the 2014 Lecturer of the Year for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2018, she received an Outstanding Service Award for the Department of English. In 2013, Shanan was appointed to the Utah Arts Council Board of Directors and served a 4-year term.
Shanan earned her MFA in Poetry Writing from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, under the guidance of her mentor William Trowbridge, Poet Laureate of Missouri 2012-2016. She is the author of the chapbook The Red Riding Hood Papers (Finishing Line 2010) and a full-length poetry manuscript Pretty Marrow (Negative Capability 2013), a semi-finalist for the 2010 Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes, the 2010 May Swenson Award, the 2010 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and the 2012 Louise Bogan Award; in 2012 it received first place in the Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing Contest, judged by Sue Walker, former Poet Laureate of Alabama.
Shanan was selected to teach Utah State Poetry Society's 2018 Poetry in the Park workshop in Zion National Park and to be the featured speaker at the 2018 League of Utah Writers Redrock Writers Seminar. She taught for the League's 2018 & 2019 Summer Writers Symposiums, the 2019 St. George Literary Arts Festival, and the 2019 Kanab Writers Conference.