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Poetry from Humanities Writers to be Cemented in Time


Three poets from the University of Utah’s College of Humanities will have their poetry imprinted in new sidewalks throughout the capital city after being selected for a new public art project, Senses of Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Art Design Board and Mayor Erin Mendenhall chose poems from just 20 local writers who responded to the prompt, “How do you experience Salt Lake City?” Two doctorate students, Jasmine Khaliq (English) and Aristotle Johns (creative writing) and one stellar staff member, John Boyack, will all have the privilege of seeing their work cemented in time this summer.  
“What I love most about the final product is that it will be accessible to the public at-large and for free,” said Boyack, whose inspiration came from – in part – a local romance, twenty years of living in Salt Lake, and new city insights via his daughter's eyes. “It is a bit like refining graffiti, and available to celebrate as well as trample over. 

The inspiration for Khaliq’s poem came as she was taking a walkat dusk last year, in early spring, looking at the snow-capped mountains. I was thinking about how reflective the landscape around me always becomes for my projections of myself and my daydreams and desires, how much the landscape also shapes me as I shape it – our relationship​. It set me writing about how one may be or want to be as mutable, reflective, and mutually-formative for another person as a mountain can be for me​.
Read more about the project here.  


About the Poets from the College of Humanities

Jasmine Khalid

Jasmine Khaliq is a Pakistani Mexican poet born and raised in Northern California. She holds a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of Washington, Seattle. Currently, Jasmine is a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where she lives with her partner Victor and Lucy, their beautiful dog.

The mountain is so pale, today-- 
Any color 
You suggest, 
It takes 


Artistotle Johns

Aristotle Johns is a writer from Colorado. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he is pursuing a PhD in creative writing. Aristotle owes all and anything he is to his family and best friends. 

clouds will hold themselves above 
this ground where you are 
another sort of sky


John Boyack

Loving father, poet, and children's book author. Born in Seattle, John Boyack relocated to Salt Lake City in 2001 and enrolled at the University of Utah earning BA degrees in English and Political Science, and a master's degree in public administration. He loves reading, hiking, and creating with his daughter Hattie and thanks Miriam, his lightning bolt, for inspiring this poem.

Love is a sapling's effort 
Canvas, concrete 
A park bench 
The corner fleur
Con ganas de conocerte 
(Looking forward to meeting you) 

Last Updated: 6/14/24