Literary Arts | On the Spot

Katharine Coles

Katharine Coles lives in Salt Lake City, and in 2006 she was named to a five-year term as Utah’s Poet Laureate. Her poems have been included in numerous public arts projects, including Salt Lake City’s Passages Park, for which she served on the design team; and NUMBERS AND MEASURES, an installation by Anna Campbell Bliss in the Leroy Cowles Mathematics Building at the University of Utah. Her ongoing collaboration with visual artist Maureen O’Hara Ure has resulted in two major installations and an artist’s book, SWOON.

She is on the faculty of the English Department at the University of Utah, where she teaches creative writing and literature and, with mathematician and biologist Fred Adler, co-directs the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature , which she originated in 2001.

What hangs above your mantel?

I have no mantel because I have no fireplace–only glass walls on the long sides of the house and bookshelves on the short sides. On the interior walls, we do have paintings hanging, mostly by Utah artists, including Maureen O’Hara Ure, Anna Campbell Bliss, David Ruhlman, and Bonnie Sucec.

What is your favorite building in Utah?

As you can already tell from my first answer, my favorite building is my house. I’m also very fond of the new downtown library.

What is the most memorable exhibit you’ve seen recently? 

I really loved the Maria Sibylla Marian and Daughers Women in Art and Science exhibit I saw at the Getty last fall; but the Bodyworlds exhibit that was at the Leonardo this winter was also unforgettable.

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