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Poem Pros return for Employee Appreciation Day 2023

You may hear the clacking of keys echoing across the concourse at this year’s Employee Appreciation Day (EAD). Be sure to stop by and receive a beautifully written souvenir courtesy of The Poem Pros. Back by popular demand, The Poem Pros will return to EAD 2023 on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The Poem Pros is a local organization comprised of typewriting enthusiasts and other creatives with a simple mission: Get heartfelt words into the world and delivered into the hands of those we love. They accomplish this through writing “quippies,” unique-to-you poems written on vintage typewriters and handmade paper. Founded by Alix Court, The Poem Pros have been connecting people with the power of words since 2017.

“The Poem Pros is a culmination of many parts of my life,” Court explained. “When I was young, my grandmother gave me a journal and I developed a love of writing and words. That continued into my college years, where I became fascinated with 19th-century literature while studying for my English degree. A lot of great 19th-century works were written on typewriters, so when I stumbled across my first typewriter in an antique shop in Logan—a Remington model with black and red ink—something just clicked and I knew I had to buy it.”

In 2017, armed with his typewriter, passion for poetry and a call for “free words,” Court attended the Urban Flea Market in Salt Lake City and wrote his very first quippies for captivated flea market guests. Since then, The Poem Pros have been providing their writing services for not only Utahns but for people across the United States and countries around the world.

The process to receive a quippy at this year’s EAD is simple. It all begins with a conversation between the typist and the guest—you can have a prompt already in mind, or you can dictate exactly what you want your quippy to say. If you aren’t sure what you want you want to say, Court recommends having someone in mind—a child, parent, spouse, coworker—and come prepared to share.

“The process to write and receive a quippy is actually quite emotional, for both the typist and the guest,” Court said. “You need to be willing to open up and share your intimate thoughts and feelings with a stranger. In five to 10 minutes, so many different emotions can be shared and felt. That can be hard for some people, but it’s so worth it to put your feelings into words.”

Court recalls many touching moments from last year’s EAD, but one, in particular, he thinks about often. “There was a very quiet gentleman in line for a quippy,” he recalled, “and he wanted to write some words for his daughter—that he loved her and missed her, despite their strained relationship. The fact that I could use my own hands and typewriter to craft words that could possibly rekindle a relationship is the exact reason why I started The Poem Pros. There’s always someone waiting to hear from you—so let The Poem Pros help get those heartfelt messages out! We hope to spread the message that there is true beauty and power in words.”

If you are a University of Utah, HCI or U of U Health employee or student employee, be sure to mark your calendars for Employee Appreciation Day on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium to receive your personalized quippy from The Poem Pros.

There are also many other activities and entertainment opportunities at this year’s EAD Other in-person activities include:

  • The return of the Flashbacc band. This cover band will have you groovin’ to the classic rock sounds of the 60s and 70s. Read more about Flashbacc.
  • Juggling performances by master juggler Tanner Alder
  • Print & Mail photo booth and temporary airbrush tattoos
  • Hooked on Books—browse through donated books, CDs, DVDs, etc., for an EAD souvenir
  • Flu shot clinic
  • Field activities, including the ever-popular football field goal kick; corn hole, giant Jenga and giant Connect Four; and Putting with the Police
  • More activities and entertainment (in-person and virtual) to come

We recommend you check back frequently on the EAD website for more information on what to expect at this year’s event, including opportunities for volunteers.

We hope to see you there!