Margaret Pettis

In the widow’s field,
they walk in beauty—
sorrel, paint, bay,
buckskin, chestnut, gray—
kicking through thistles,
loosing sprays of goldfinch
  to spread a perfect day.


I hope you will find a quiet time to read the poems in my books, In the Temple of the Stars, Phalarope, and Searching for Circe. Travel down the slow river in a kayak, disappear in the world of herons, cranes and kingfishers, and let the source of the words drift into your own journey. Our world is precious.

In my novels, starting with The Turquoise Bear, you’ll follow daring Marti Bruhn through wild, remote country as she encounters villains you’ll love to fear.

I invite you to take Back Roads of Utah along as you venture into the heart of this beautiful state.

All of these books were a joy to write and illustrate. There are more to come so check back.

Finally, I just added a set of note cards depicting species of our region. To see them, scroll to the very bottom of the page.

Thank you for your support!



From In the Temple of the Stars:


In this juniper,
born of a seed on a mesa in the sun,
shelter of jays and mountain lion, is the word.

In this rock,
ancient as the vesper wind caressing
every crevice, every cleft, is the altar. 

In this cirque,
comber of clouds and midwife
of the dawn, is the homily.

In this stream,
filling granite fonts with golden offering
of aspen leaves and cutthroat trout, is the hymn.

In this goshawk,
who, with stroke and gesture of wingtip,
slices through limb and storm, is the way.

In my heart,
where deep love for this world
wraps itself about each tiny thing, is hope.


(Visit Amazon.com> books> Margaret Pettis)

The Turquoise Bear is the first novel in the Marti Bruhn series of outdoor suspense mysteries. Released in December 2020, it was followed by the next books in 2021 (written over the previous 15 years.) Read about the books on Amazon.com. I am currently writing the sixth book, Rainbow River (2023.)

The novels in order are:
The Turquoise Bear
Wyoming Gold
The Crimson Trail
The Bronze Rim of Baja
The Wine-Dark Spell

Back Roads of Utah, a richly illustrated guide to the state, is available in Utah stores (including Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City), in some State Parks and U.S. Forest Service book stores in Utah, and on Amazon.

In the Temple of the Stars (October 2020) is available on Amazon.com.

Phalarope (2023) is now for sale on Amazon.

Searching for Circe (2023) is available on Amazon.

My first poetry collection was Chokecherry Rain. Published in 1993 in hard cover, it won the Utah State Poetry Society Book of the Year Award. Contact me to buy a copy for $10.00.

The chapbook, In a Driftwood Ring, may be purchased upon request.

News and Interviews

Featured guest on Access Utah, Utah Public Radio/NPR, Logan, Utah January 2021 https://www.upr.org/post/temple-stars-poet-margaret-pettis mondays-access-utah AND

Guest blog on creating environmental novels in the time of Covid: Free Range Writers, Jackson Hole, Wyoming January 2021 https://www.freerangewriters.com/post/i-plan-to-be-there-too

Featured article on the release of In the Temple of the Stars, Herald Journal, Logan, Utah January 2021 https://www.hjnews.com/news/local/scope-of-poetry-local- teacher-and-award-winning poet-releases-volume-of-poetry-roughly-30/article_48ced50d-a3b1-5ebb-bcc1-9dc54e9e75dd.html

Featured article on the release of Back Roads of Utah, Herald Journal, Logan, Utah November 2021 https://www.hjnews.com/eedition/page-a3/page_5d801e6d-afe5-5043-9cb5-c87b35a62ffc.html

Poems published in the September 2020, May and November 2021, and May 2022 issues of Utah Life Magazine. A review of Back Roads of Utah appeared in the November 2022 issue.

Listed in MappingLiteraryUtah.org

Panelist, Self-Publishing, Utah Humanities Council Book Festival, Weber County Main Library, Ogden September 2021

Weller Book Works hosted a virtual poetry reading/ conversation with Utah poets Margaret Pettis and Nancy Takacs, March 3, 2022

+ One of my poems was featured on April 1, 2022 on KRCL Radio’s National Poetry Month celebration.
+ Guest artist/poem in Tremblings, May 2022 newsletter of the Western Aspen Alliance, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
+ Poems were published in Deep Wild Journal, 2019 and 2022
+Workshop instructor, Drawing on the Natural World, the Basin and Range program of Great Salt Lake Audubon, June 2022 and June 2023
+I read my poem Compass Points on Utah Public Radio’s “Lake Effect”/ Great Salt Lake Collaborative, May & September 26, 2022 https://greatsaltlakenews.org/lake-resources/great-salt-lake-voices

+ Back Roads of Utah was listed as a KUER Holiday Book, 2022 https://radiowest.kuer.org/show/radiowest/2022-12-01/radiowests-2022-holiday-book-show

+ I illustrated Cache Trails, the revised 2023 hiking guide by Dave Wallace (Bridgerland Audubon Society, Logan, Utah)
+ My portfolio of illustrations is featured in Deep Wild Journal #5, 2023

+My poem, Bison, was read on Leo T Skywatcher’s program on KRCL and KUSU, December 3 and 4, 2022 https://anchor.fm/leonard-thomas/episodes/Europa-Clipper–Artemis-update–Many-Cultures-One-Sky-with-Margret-Pettis-and-the-Bison-in-the-sky-e1rmqip/a-a8vrlcm
+Panelist/reader on Utah Poetry Festival April panel on Poetry and the Wild, April 2023

Illustrations from Back Roads of Utah, 2021

Cover art for Cache Trails by Dave Wallace, published by Bridgerland Audubon Society, 2023

WILD CARDS are now for sale!
These blank notecards are available in sets of five animals/envelopes
(your choice of which animals you want) for ten dollars a package.
To order, please contact me via email.