Holly Simonsen

Adjunct Professor of English and Literature

Westminster College


Holly Simonsen lives and works in her native Utah landscape, where her creations explore the relationship between language and ecologically disrupted environments, specifically Great Salt Lake. Although primarily a poet, her work often migrates off the page into 3D spaces. She earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was a recent fellow at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and at the Djerassi Resident Artists’ Program in Woodside, CA. She currently works as an adjunct professor of English and literature at Westminster College and as the Environmental Education Specialist for The Center for Documentary Expression and Arts. Links to her published work can be found at www.hsimonsen.com

Panelist: Still Great?: Artists’ Responses to a Lake in Crisis

3:35-4:25 - Friday, May 13th

Title : Language of the Lake

Abstract: The cadences, rhythms, and sounds of an ecosystem are the same modalities through which we (as humans) perceive, repeat, and advocate. As Great Salt Lake recedes, so too does its biodiversity. One overlooked consequence of habitat loss is the loss of said habitat’s language—even human language. As the Lake shrinks, so does our capacity to understand it.