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Veneta Leatham Nielsen Scholarship

Veneta Leatham Nielsen, honored poet and professor emeritus of English and world literature at Utah State University, was born and raised in Cache Valley. She attended Utah State University, and received her bachelor's degree in 1940. She lived with her husband Harold M. Nielsen in Logan, where they raised their family.

Between 1946 and 1976, Veneta taught at USU as a member of the English faculty. Best known as a beloved teacher of poetry and world literature, Veneta also taught the series of classes entitled, Great Books and Ideas. She wrote and supervised the home-study courses offered by the USU English Department for over 10 years.

Upon retirement Veneta did a series of seminars on literature, and began a decade-long poetry workshop for members of the Logan Chapter of the AAUW. She also judged various poetry competitions for a number of organizations, including the Utah State Poetry Society, the League of Utah Writers, and the Utah State Federated Women's Club. Veneta's love of poetry and literature was at the center of her life. She was a critically acclaimed writer and poet. Her most notable works were a two volume series of poems, Familiar as a Sparrow and Looking for the Blue Rose, as well as a university honor lecture entitled “So Deep a Logos.”

Veneta wrote many monographs on poetry theory and poetry composition, in addition to being co-author of Look on the Land, a musical production and the classroom handbook, To Find the Poem. The Veneta Leatham Nielsen scholarship recipients are undergraduate or graduate students majoring in English who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above, and who demonstrate professional promise.