Literary Arts

Literary Arts incorporates our Desert Wanderings Literary Magazine, Creative Writing Residencies & Workshops, Writers' Edge Writing Group, and Disability & Literature Book Group.


Compositions from workshops, from the Writers' Edge Writing Group and from a public call for entries, are juried into a literary magazine titled Desert Wanderings, giving participating writers an opportunity to have their literary voices heard by the broader community.

Desert Wanderings Literary Magazine Submissions: Submissions should be emailed by November 15 of each year to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "WRITING SUBMISSION" typed into the subject line. Submissions can also be made anonymously (please indicate in your email if this is your preference). Please download the following submission form, save it to your desktop, complete it and include it as an attachment with your writing submission email. pdfDW Submission Form  

Amanda Finlayson
Art Access
230 S 500 W, #125
SLC, UT 84101

Submissions must be no more than 3,000 words. Because of our diverse readership, we ask that the content be publicly responsible. Writers with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit.

Questions? Contact Amanda Finlayson at 801-328-0703, opt. 5, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Program Founded in 1996 by Art Access

Through a series of writing residencies conducted by professional writers year-round, adults and teens with disabilities have an opportunity to develop and polish their writing skills and share their voices and perspectives. Residencies are held at partner venues where individuals with disabilities live or gather.

For more information, contact Amanda at 801-328-0703, option 5, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This program is provided in part under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Revolutionizing Normal – Writing and Performance Workshop with Meg Day and Raphael Dagold

Workshop Description
What does normal look like? If normal could speak, what would it say? Over the course of four Saturdays, we will investigate the truly unique patchwork of our own realities and delve into the imaginative potential of a world where normal does not exist—
at least not as we know it.

Revolutionizing Normal is a workshop focused on poetry and short non-fiction writing. Participants will explore how recognizing we are all outsiders can help develop deeper awareness and celebrate the truly extra-ordinary. It is for all of us who don't and won't fit the cookie cutter rubrics of social expectations, whether they include language,
lifestyle, ability, addiction, or any other scramble of experience you may carry.

Workshop Dates
Saturdays, September 13 & 27 and October 11 & 25 from 10:00am to 1:00pm

Performance Readings
Friday, November 7 from 7:00 to 9:00pm at Art Access, 230 South 500 West, #125 in Salt Lake City

This workshop is FREE, but space is limited to 20 registered participants. Please click this link to register by September 8.
Questions? Amanda 801.328.0703, option 5

MegDay LastPsalmauthorphoto WEBMeg Day, recently selected for Best New Poets of 2013, is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize (forthcoming 2014),When All You Have Is a Hammer (winner of the 2012 Gertrude Press Chapbook Contest) and We Can't Read This (winner of the 2013 Gazing Grain Chapbook Contest). A 2012 AWP Intro Journals Award Winner, she has also received awards and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Writers, and the International Queer Arts Festival. Meg is currently a PhD fellow in Poetry & Disability Poetics at the University of Utah.


Raphael Dagold's first book, Bastard Heart, was published by Silverfish Review Press in February of 2014. His poems, fables, and photographs have appeared in Indiana Review, Frank, Northwest Review, and other publications. He has taught writing and literature at the University of Utah, Lewis and Clark College, and other institutions, and has won fellowships and awards from the Ucross Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, Oregon Literary Arts, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and 360 Xochi Quetzal, an artist residency in Chapala, Mexico. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon and currently is a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. Visit for samples of published and in-progress work, links to reviews and interviews, and information about recent and upcoming readings.



Are you an aspiring writer?

Are you looking for a community of writers with whom you can share your work?

Are you eager for constructive feedback and support for your writing?

Join Writers' Edge and pursue your writing with an inclusive and supportive community of fellow writers. Explore writing techniques and resources with local writer and artist Jane Grau.

Writers' Edge meets on the first and third Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Millcreek Library (2266 Evergreen Ave).

Participants will have the opportunity to submit short work annually for possible publication in Art Access' Desert Wanderings literary magazine.

Questions? Interested in joining? Contact Amanda at 801-328-0703, option 5, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign-up as a participant.

Writers' Edge is provided in partnership with Salt Lake County Library Services.SLCoLSLogoHorizonta



The Art Access Disability and Literature Book Group began in spring 2012 with the goal of investigating how and why people with disabilities have been depicted in classic literary texts and considering the historical, social, and cultural impact of these depictions. Since then, we have focused on disability issues in classic fiction, disability memoir, and contemporary texts, including those written by local authors. For fall 2014, and in conjunction with the Utah Humanities Council's Book Festival, we will feature historical fiction that addresses how communities respond to "difference." These discussions will coincide with Differences, A Dialogue, a group exhibition at Art Access that will be curated by Marcee Blackerbyn. Discussions will be facilitated by Susan Anderson, literary consultant for Art Access.

What is Visible by Kimberly Elkins

Wednesday, September 24 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Art Access

Elkin's text fictionalizes the life of Laura Bridgman (1829 –1889), a young woman who lost her sight, hearing, and senses of smell and taste from complications from scarlet fever. She became the protégé of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, the founder of the Perkins School for the Blind and a pioneer in educating children with disabilities. Howe demonstrates Bridgman's communicative skills in public, and her abilities are famously rendered by Charles Dickens in his American Notes for General Circulation, which inspired Kate Keller to seek similar training for her daughter Helen. Bridgman's celebrity wasn't without complications, however, and she developed intense and often prickly relationships with her teachers, Howe, his family, and her students. THIS SESSION IS FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. REGISTER HERE

The Hottentot Venus by Barbara Chase-Riboud
Wednesday, October 22 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Art Access

Chase-Riboud's text fictionalizes the life of Sarah Baartman (1789-1815), a South African woman who became an orphan, widow, and bereaved mother in her teens and who was then sold to a family in Cape Town as a domestic servant. Promised a life of wealth and freedom by her owner and a British doctor, she was transported to London where she was displayed there and in France as an example of female primitivism – the "Hottentot Venus," complete with a cage, African garb, and a fixation on her unusual physical features. She then became a figure of abolitionist fervor, a scientific and forensic specimen, and eventually a symbol of racial, gender, colonial, and economic exploitation. THIS SESSION IS FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. REGISTER HERE

The Art Access Disability and Literature Book Group sessions meet at Art Access (230 South 500 West, Suite 110). Sessions are FREE and open to the public, but are limited to 18 registered participants in each session.

A few copies of each book are available from Art Access and may be borrowed for a limited time. Personal copies may also be purchased by participants or borrowed from local libraries. If you have questions about accessing texts, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This program receives funding from the Utah Humanities Council. The Utah Humanities Council (UHC) enriches our cultural, intellectual, and civic life by providing opportunities for all Utahns to explore life's most engaging questions and the wonders of the human experience.

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Help Art Access provide inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to the arts.

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Our 300 Plates Fundraiser and Exhibition takes place the third Thursday in May each year.