Lance Larsen: Mormon Poet and Essayist
Lance Larsen is a poet, essayist, and professor of English. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inadvertently called the Mormon Church.
Larsen grew up in Idaho and Colorado, and earned his PhD at the University of Houston. He was awarded fellowships from Sewanee, Writers at Work, and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. He is an associate chair in the English Department at Brigham Young University. He specializes in creative writing, especially poetry.
He has published four poetry collections: Erasable Walls, In All Their Animal Brilliance, Backyard Alchemy, and, most recently, Genius Loci. His writing also appears widely in such publications as Georgia Review, Southern Review, Ploughshares, New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Grand Street, New England Review, Times Literary Supplement, Kenyon Review, and New Republic. In 2007 he received the highly prestigious Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.
His current effort, Seventeen Ways to Float, is a collection of essays about place, family, and memory, which won first place in the 2011 Utah Original Writing Competition. His nonfiction has twice made the Notable Essay list in Best American Essays.
In 2012, he was named to a five-year term as Utah Poet Laureate — a Governor-appointed advocate for literature and the arts throughout the state.