If You Really Wanted to Get Me Something: Our writers works hard all year and as the holidays roll around we thought we’d give them a chance to let you know what kind of gift they might like. That is, if you wanted to get the something. Some may not come right out and say it’s for them, but if you read between the lines, you’ll get the idea. And artists who are friends of our writers, please note, we restricted them to just a couple of suggestions, so don’t go disinviting them from your holiday party just because you didn’t make the list.
Every time I see an acrylic print by Kate Jarvik Birch, I wonder why I haven’t already bought a triptych for my office. Her still lifes are eye-popping like old magazine illustrations. They’re often food-based and always turn up my lips. At her online store, prints start at $20.00. In honor of the season, here’s a print that reminds of the Little Match Girl.
Appealing to my fascination in dreams, psychedelia, and Western esotericism, is the art of Scott Tuckfield. If you visit the Urban Arts Gallery, you may have seen his surreal and geometric creations that are like meditations made manifest.
Utah musician and TikToker, Austin Archer recently released a deluxe vinyl edition of Beautiful Things on Bandcamp. Unlike the bigger platforms such as Spotify, Bandcamp sells music under a “Fair Trade Music Policy,” with 80–85% of proceeds going directly to musicians. I have a fairly complete digital library of Archer’s work, but plan to pick up some vinyl soon. The title track is sweet and raw, almost like an indie lullaby with guitar, augmented with found audio samples.
Bewildered by All This Broken Sky, a book of poems by Anna Scotti, and winner of the 2020 Lightscatter Press Prize, was so vivid at times I felt as if I were no longer reading but there. And so I’m looking forward to the next publication by Utah’s Lightscatter, Undershore by Kelly Hoffer. From judge Diana Khoi Nguyen: “Undershore is incandescent, like an electric light housing a filament which glows when a current passes through it. A filament as tender and tenacious as spider silk weathering the elements.” It sounds like a don’t-miss.
Matthew Ivan Bennett has been a resident playwright of Plan-B Theatre Company since 2007, where he’s premiered several stage and radio plays, including “Stand,” a dystopian thriller and “Eric(a),” which won Best Drama at United Solo in New York. His feature film, “The Whole Lot” will appear at film festivals in 2022. His poetry has been published with Sugar House Review, Western Humanities, unearthed, and Utah life. Matt is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.