Ogden announces Angelika Brewer as new poet laureate
Ogden City announced Angelika Brewer as the city’s new poet laureate last week. Her two-year tenure began on July 1 which included a live performance during “Van Sessions,” a monthly live music podcast, during First Friday Art Stroll.
Ogden City sought its first poet laureate in 2016 after a proposal was pitched to the Ogden City Arts Committee by then-Weber State student Patrick Ramsay. Previous poet laureates in the city have included inaugural title-holder Brad Roghaar and, most recently, professor Abraham Smith.
Brewer will make public appearances reading poetry to represent the literary community in Ogden during her two-year term — a second term being optional. The focus of the visits will be at public schools as she runs workshops as well as performs. Brewer hopes to expose the students of Utah to the literary arts.
“I feel strongly about accessibility and creativity,” Brewer said. “I want everyone to embrace their creativity in a way that feels meaningful to them and in order to do that, you have to ensure that everyone has resources and outlets to do so.”
According to a press release, Brewer’s accomplishments are numerous as she has been a featured speaker in many local organizations like the Utah Conference for Teachers of English, Kiwanis Club, Ogden Pride Festival, PBS Utah, Standard-Examiner online, Utah Arts Festival, Ogden Arts Festival, Literary Deathmatch, Concrete Rose, “Write About Now” cypher and many other events.
“We selected Angelika Brewer as poet laureate based both on the power of her poetry and her relationship with the Ogden community. Angelika and her poetry are reflective of the distinctive past, present, and future heartbeat of our city, which we are proud to have her represent,” said Susan Campbell, Ogden City’s Arts Advisory Committee chair and a sub-committee member of Literary Arts.
Writing since elementary school, Brewer gives most of the credit to her high school English teacher Cassie Cox, who introduced her to the spoken word. “[She] gently pushed me to the microphone. It’s been an incredible ride since,” Brewer said.
As poet laureate, Brewer will be reading from her self-published book, “I Don’t Want to Miss You,” as well some new poems based on current events and recent happenings in her own life. Brewer says that writing has always been an outlet and something she used to make sense of things she didn’t understand.
“I still write that way sometimes — to learn about myself,” she said, “But, I also write to spread awareness, share my truth, process things and, above all, to tell stories. Some things are better left said, I say.”
Brewer applied for the position last term, but believes she lacked the right experience that she has now. She is self-taught and informally trained, believing everything she’s stumbled upon has been divinely sent.
“I will never stop seeking out knowledge and learning, but I believe the knowledge I have now can be a special addition to Ogden,” Brewer said. “[I] want to help the community grow and evolve and I believe literary art holds that kind of love in its palms. Reading and writing were the greatest gift[s] I ever received and I hope to pass those gifts along.”
Keep up with Angelika Brewer on social media: Instagram (@signed_a.b), TikTok (@signed.ab), Facebook (@Signed,A.B.) and angelikabrewer.com.
Editor’s note: Angelika Brewer is a contributing writer for A.C.E.