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My recent collection Inside the Animal: The Collected Red Riding Hood poems was published by Main Street Rag in June 2019. Thank you, Editor M. Scott Douglass! Click on the link to order your copy from The Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

Click here to read Ben Gunsberg's review of Inside the Animal published in the 10-year anniversary issue of Sugar House Review. Thank you, Ben, and thank you Natalie Young and Nano Taggart for your gorgeous journal! 

Read Britt Allen's review of Inside the Animal on the October 29, 2019 New Pages BlogThank you, Britt!

Read Jennifer Tonge's review of Inside the Animal in 15 Bytes: Utah's Literary Magazine. Thank you, Jennifer!

Sink Hollow, our international undergraduate literary journal at Utah State University has a new issue. Please visit us at




October 8, 2021: I read at the K2 Gallery in Helper, Utah with Star Coulbrooke. This event was part of the Utah Humanities Book Festival and was sponsored by the Utah humanities Council and The Helper Project.  

October 15, 2021: I read with William Trowbridge and Jim Petersen on Zoom for The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO. This event was sponsored by The Francis Family Foundation and The Missouri Arts Council.

October 21, 2021: In conjunction with the Utah Tenn Poetry Festival, I was the featured reader for Helicon West and taught a poetry workshop for teachers. These events were part of the Utah Humanities Book Festival and were sponsored by The Utah Humanities Council. 


November 5th, 2021: I will taught a poetry workshop entitled "Elegant Solutions: Writing about Difficult Subject Matter" for the Kanab Writers Conference. This event was sponsored by The National Endowment for the Humanities and Utah Humanities Ideas in Action.



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Past Events

Please e-mail me at if you are interested in asking me to teach a workshop in your community.

Click here to see my curriculum vitae.

“Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary”

Poetry Writing Workshop

Write @ the Logan Library Writers Conference

Logan City Library, Logan, UT

January 25, 2020

Poet William Blake could “see a world in a grain of sand,” and with the right attitude and practice, anyone can discover the extraordinary in the world around them. We will read a few examples of poets fascinated with the beauty of the ordinary, practice tuning our senses and our brains to be aware as well as to verbalize what we sense, and write one short poem about something extraordinary. This session should be fun both for people who want to write poetry and for those interested in another kind of mindfulness.

“The Power of Repetition”

Write @ the Logan Library Writers Conference

Logan City Library, Logan, UT

January 25, 2020

All art uses repetition; poets repeat everything from individual sounds to entire complex forms like villanelles. We will examine and practice a few of the many kinds of poetic repetition: anaphora and the poetic form, the pantoum. Although this is a fairly specific topic, anyone interested in writing poetry can benefit from it. Artistically controlled repetition is an asset at any level of poetry. 

“A Celebration of Sound and Sense”

Kanab Writers Conference

Kanab Community Arts Center, Kanab, UT

 November 8, 2019


Poets of all levels of experience will benefit from this energetic workshop where participants will learn and practice basic poetic sound techniques, such as alliteration, assonance, and other types of sonic repetition. We will also gather sensory details and images from nature and write poems that will surprise and delight writers and audiences alike.

“Using Myth and Fairy Tale in Poetry”

St. George Literary Arts Festival

Dixie State University, St. George, UT

October 12, 2019

Many of us wish to write about deeply personal experiences, but sometimes the truth is too raw, and we freeze. In this workshop, Shanan Ballam will show how myths and fairy tales can create paths into our difficult personal subject matter, paths to help us gain the necessary distance from our subjects and to help us see our experiences with fresh eyes.

“Engage the Senses, Engage the Reader”

League of Utah Writers Summer Writers Symposium,

Eccles Conference Center, Logan, UT

June 15, 2019

Writers who incorporate the glow, texture, and fragrance of vivid sensory detail are more likely to engage their readers on a physical level. But writers who understand and utilize connotation and prose rhythm are likely to engage the reader on the more abstract levels of emotion and intellect. In this workshop we’ll examine passages by writers who have successfully engaged their readers on the physical, emotional, and intellectual levels, and then we’ll practice writing our own.

"Subtle Beauty: Creating Poetic Prose”

League of Utah Writers Summer Writers Symposium

Eccles Conference Center, Logan, UT 

June 15, 2018

In this workshop we will learn about and practice common poetic sound devices such as anaphora, alliteration, and consonance. We will also discuss connotation—the images and feelings surrounding words—and generate metaphors and similes. We’ll examine the ways all of these devices can expand and complicate our prose, deepening our connection with our readers.

"Elegant Solutions: Writing About Difficult Subject Matter"

Redrock Creative Writing Seminar

St. George, UT

 March 3, 2018

This workshop began with an explanation of “elegant solution”—in mathematics, it refers to a solution that solves the problem in the simplest and most effective manner. Artists are forced to confront problems ranging from minor to massive every time we face the page. One common problem is honestly facing difficult subject matter. In this workshop, we discussed: How do we write about things that hurt us? How do we avoid sentimentality? How do we contend with the complex “truth” of our situations? How can we approach the subject with a new perspective, one that will allow us and our writing to progress? I offered participants various writing exercises to help them write about their most difficult subjects.

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