Book Awards | Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Robert H. Van Wagoner’s “The Contortionists” wins the 15 Bytes Book Award for Fiction

Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner’s evocative, disturbing, dark novel, The Contortionists, has won this year’s 15 Bytes Book Award for fiction. The novel, which the author has described as a “literary crossover,” injects the tension of a suspense novel into the world of fully fleshed characters, deep context and […]

Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Melanie Rae Thon’s “Sweet Hearts” is a Complex and Challenging Tapestry of the American West

In Sweet Hearts, Melanie Rae Thon has written the most complex and challenging book … Complex because she has densely stitched together five generations of the lives of the families she created, but also woven them into more than a century of eventful and unsettling Western history. And challenging not only because this is a history of relentless exploitation, marked by misadventure, injustice, and cruelty, but also because she refuses to shield herself or her readers from the true horror of the continuing conflict between the Native Americans who were driven from their lands again and again, and the interlopers from the east who always found, and continue to find, reasons why they still want to take for themselves even the desolate places they forced those defeated communities to take on.

Best Of | Visual Arts

Poor Yorick Studios: Lisa McAfee

“It has been very quiet in the halls here at Poor Yorick Studios,” says Salt Lake City artist Lisa McAfee.  Originally from the California coast, McAfee earned her BFA from California State, Long Beach, before coming to Utah. She works with painting, printmaking and mixed media to depict “expansive landscapes, objects, and animals integrated with personal symbolism.”

Best Of | Visual Arts

Poor Yorick Studios: Elise Zoller

“There is nothing more interesting to me than how light bounces across the surfaces of a front porch,” says Elise Zoller. “I love front porches. Reflected light might be the whole reason I do this,” she says of her practice of painting architectural landscapes en plein air. A graduate of Princeton (in architecture), Zoller has studied drawing and painting at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston and Masters Academy in Springville, Utah. In the warmer moths, Zoller works primarily in northern Utah and heads south, to St. George and points beyond, in the winter.