In America, one way to pay tribute to a person is to make fun of him. At least that's the thinking behind a "roast." And on Thursday, Utah poet Ken Brewer will be on the spit for the "tribute" of a lifetime.

The barbecue begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, at the Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, 175 S. 700 East. Call 277-1510 or 236-7555 for more details.On hand to celebrate the poet will be Keith Wilson (Brewer's New Mexico mentor) and David Lee (poet laureate of Utah), along with popular Utah writers Ivy Ruckman, Alex Caldiero, Barry Scholl and many others.

As for Brewer himself, he has been a Utah fixture for three decades now. Currently he is chairman of graduate studies at Utah State University and still teaches creative writing. While at USU he has not only published verse in more than 200 journals and periodicals, he has been a torch bearer for dozens of his students. His reputation as a teacher, in fact, may exceed his reputation as a writer.

His books of verse have changed the landscape of Utah writing, including "To Remember What Is Lost," "Lake's Edge" and his limited edition publication with woodcut artist Harry Taylor,"Hoping for All, Dreading Nothing" - one of the most distinguished volumes to come out of the state.

"Ken has always been supportive of writers in general," says Sandy Anderson, who directs the City Art Reading Series. "His writing is both accessible and deep. I think that's one reason young people are drawn to his work."

The Brewer roast is sponsored by City Art, the Utah State Poetry Society, The Utah Arts Council and Writers at Work.

Bring your own butcher knives.