Emma Lou Thayne

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Emma Lou Warner Thayne (October 22, 1924 – December 6, 2014) was a Mormon poet and novelist, counted as one of the 75 most significant.[1]

Thayne graduated from the University of Utah in 1945. She would later return there to coach tennis and teach English. In the late 1960s, she completed a master's degree at the University of Utah. She was on the faculty over 30 years.[2] In 1949, she married Mel Thayne; they became the parents of five daughters.

Although Thayne worked primarily as a poet, she also wrote novels. Her first novel was Never Past the Gate. She was also a contributor to such magazines as Network, a woman's magazine based in Salt Lake City, Exponent II and Utah Holiday. At age 90, she died in Salt Lake City on December 6, 2014.[3][4]


  • Spaces in the Sage (1971) — poetry collection
  • On Slim Unaccountable Bones: Poems (1974) — novel
  • Never Past the Gate (1975) — novel
  • With Love, Mother (1975) — poetry collection
  • A Woman's Place (1977) — novel
  • Until Another Day for Butterflies (1978) — poetry collection
  • Once In Israel (1980) — poetry collection
  • How Much for the Earth? A Suite of Poems: About Time for Considering (1983) — poetry collection
  • "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" (1985) hymn
  • Things Happen: Poems of Survival (1991) — poetry collection
  • Clarice Short: Earthy Academic (1994) — biography/memoir
  • All God's Critters Got A Place in the Choir (1995) — personal essay collection with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  • "The Place of Knowing" (2011) — personal memoir/autobiography


  1. ^ 75 Significant Mormon Poets by Sarah Jenkins and Gideon Burton, BYU Literature & Creative Arts
  2. ^ "Poet Emma Lou Thayne handles success with grace and adversity with calm determination" by Nettie Pendley, A Woman of Gentle Strength. Continuum Magazine, Vol. 12. No. 3, Winter 2002
  3. ^ Jacobsen, Morgan (December 7, 2014). "Noted LDS poet, author Emma Lou Thayne dies at 90". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. 
  4. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (December 6, 2014). "Emma Lou Thayne, renowned Mormon poet, dies at 90". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. 


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