75 Significant Mormon Poets

Although thousands of poems and hundreds of Mormon poets are included in the Mormon Literature Database (see the poetry genre profile), the following poets continue to draw the attention of literary critics. Some of these poets are significant as authors of early and well known Mormon poems and hymns (such as Eliza R. Snow's "O, My Father" and W. W. Phelps' "The Spirit of God"); others are important for the quality of their poetry by modern standards, or for having broken new ground with poetic form (Orson Whitney, the epic), themes (Clinton Larson, violence and lyricism), or audiences (Carol Lynn Pearson to the popular Mormon market; May Swenson and Lance Larsen to national audiences). This list is divided between early Mormon poets of note (from the 1830s to the mid-twentieth century) and contemporary Mormon poets of note (from about the 1950s to the present). —Sarah Jenkins and Gideon Burton

Early Mormon Poets of Note Representative Poem or Collection
Sarah Carmichael "April Flowers"
William Clayton "Come, Come, Ye Saints" [text]
Ina Coolbrith A Perfect Day (1881), "Millennium" [text]
Augusta Joyce Crocheron Wild Flowers of Deseret (1881), "Thoughts Within" [text]
Lu Dalton "Woman's Sphere"
Ruth May Fox May Blossoms (1923)
"Carry On [Firm as the Mountains Around Us]"
Susa Young Gates "Hymn of the Mothers of Men"
John Jaques "O Say, What is Truth?" [text]
Joel H. Johnson "High on the Mountain Top" [text]
John Lyon The Harp of Zion (1853)
Charles W. Penrose "O Ye Mountains High"
W. W. Phelps "Praise to the Man"; "The Spirit of God"
Parley P. Pratt "The Morning Breaks; the Shadows Flee" [text]
Lula Greene Richards Branches That Run Over the Wall:
A Book of Mormon Poem and Other Writings
(1904)
Richard Smyth "Israel, Israel, God Is Calling" [text]
Eliza R. Snow Poems, Religious, Historical and Political (1856/1877)
"Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother [O, My Father]" [text]
Josephine Spencer "The Long Steel Road" [text]
Joseph Townsend "Hope of Israel" [text]; "To Nephi, Seer of Olden Time" [text]
Emmeline B. Wells Musings and Memories: Poems (1896)
"Our Mountain Home So Dear"
Cyrus H. Wheelock "Ye Elders of Israel" [text]
Orson F. Whitney Elias: An Epic of the Ages (1904) [excerpt]


Contemporary Mormon Poets of Note Representative Poem or Collection
Shayne Bell “Romeo to Juliet, in Utah”
Lisa Orme Bickmore Haste (1994)
Mary Bradford Lythgoe “Coming Apart Together”
Marilyn McMeen Miller Brown The Grandmother Tree (1978)
Marilyn Bushman-Carlton Cheat Grass (1999)
Orson Scott Card "Prentice Alvin and the No-Good Plow"
R. A. Christmas “Self Portrait as Brigham Young”
Dennis Marden Clark Tinder: Dry Poems (1988)
Marden J. Clark Moods, Of Late (1979)
Christie Lund Coles Some Spring Returning (1958)
Michael R. Collings “The Missionary’s Return”
Iris P. Corry Bread and Milk for Supper (1987), “Nellie Unthank”
R. Paul Cracroft A Certain Testimony (1979)
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky Persephone Awakened (2003)
Kathy Evans Imagination Comes to Breakfast (1992)
Max Golightly A Morning of Taurus (1970)
Laura Hamblin “In Celebration of a Daughter”
John B. Harris “Strong God, Mild”
John Sterling Harris Second Crop: Poems (1996); Barbed Wire (1974)
Edward L. Hart To Utah (1979), “Our Savior’s Love”
Lisa Bolin Hawkins “Before Adam Ate”
Lael W. Hill A Legacy of Years (1966); “The Pagans”
Lewis Horne The Seventh Day (1982)
Susan Elizabeth Howe Stone Spirits (1996)
Donnell Hunter “Sabbatical”
Kimberly Johnson Leviathan with a Hook (2002)
Bruce W. Jorgensen The Light Come Down” [text]
Virginia Maughan Kammeyer Saints Alive! (1970)
Patricia Gunter Karamesines “Open Range, Wyoming”
Karl Keller “The Comforter,” “My Childern on the Beach at Del Mar”
Arthur Henry King Conversion: Poems of the Religious Life (2001);
“Hebrews 11: Strangers and Pilgrims”
Lance Larsen Erasable Walls (1998)
Clinton F. Larson The Lord of Experience (1967)
Timothy Liu A Zipper of Haze (1988)
Casualene Meyer “Honeymoon at Arches”
Karen Marguerite Moloney “Snowfall at Glenflesk”
Margaret Rampton Munk So Far: Poems (1986)
Veneta Nielsen Familiar as a Sparrow (1978)
Carol Clark Ottesen Line Upon Line (1975)
Dixie Lee Partridge Deer in the Haystacks (1984)
Carol Lynn Pearson Beginnings (1965)
Robert A. Rees “Salamander,” “Gilead”
Karl Sandberg “The Last Speaker will give the Interpretation of Tongues”
Loretta Randall Sharp “At Utah Lake”
Linda Sillitoe Crazy for Living (1993)
Helen Candland Stark “Marriage Portion”
May Swenson May Out West: Poems of May Swenson (1996); “My Name Was Called”
John Talbot The Well-Tempered Tantrum (2004)
Sally T. Taylor “Embryo”
Emma Lou Thayne Things Happen: Poems of Survival (1991)
“To a Daughter about to Become a Missionary”
Jim Walker “Whispering”
Holly Ann Welker “The Swimmer”
Philip White “Island Spring,” “The Perseids”
David Wright “The Conscience of the Village”
S. Dilworth Young “The Brothers: June 24, 1844”