look, listen, watch

June 6, 2022

We mention the University of Arizona Poetry Center with some frequency because their work on behalf of poetry and poets is worthwhile wherever you live. Among the Center’s many programs is the audiovisual archive Voca. The archive features audio and video recordings from the Center’s Reading Series and other readings as well as images from the Center’s photographic archives.

Archive access is free. You can browse or search in a variety of ways, such as by reading series, by reader, or by tag (topic). You can also find curated selections from Voca on the Poetry Centered podcast, which just completed its fifth season.

Late last year, the University announced that the Poetry Center had received a $135,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The funds will be used to create captions for the entire historical collection of recordings on Voca.

got kids?

June 9, 2021

architectural photo of the University of Arizona Poetry Center

Got kids at home? The University of Arizona Poetry Center has some suggestions for bringing together poetry and visual art for K-12 youngsters. While these are designed as lesson plans, they are easily translated to home use… as prompts for poets of all ages.

a little something

December 18, 2020

Here’s a little something from the University of Arizona Poetry Center. In “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” Library Specialist Julie Swarstad Johnson suggests making a simple folded book, known as a pants book, and using the pages to explore the liminal space between the old year and the new. There’s a short instructive video and a handful of prompts to encourage you.

new podcast

July 7, 2020

We recently wrote about voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Audio Video Library of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. The Poetry Center has now curated selections from voca for a brand-new podcast series, Poetry Centered.

In each episode, a guest poet introduces three poems from voca, sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in our archive. Each episode concludes with the guest poet reading a poem of their own. Our inaugural season includes episodes hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ada Limón, Urayoán Noel, Maggie Smith, and TC Tolbert.

Visit the Poetry Centered Podcast page to listen, subscribe, or download transcripts.


May 9, 2020

voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Audio Video Library, features recordings from the Center’s long-running Reading Series and other readings presented under the auspices of the Center. The earliest of these recordings is a Robert Creeley reading from 1963. Some recordings are accompanied by photos from the Center’s archives. It’s free. Listen.

tasty poetry in Tucson

September 6, 2019

If your travel plans include Tucson, stop by the University of Arizona Poetry Center and have a look at Come to the Table, an exhibit of food poems on display through Saturday, November 23, 2019.

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Image: “Ode to Guacamole” from Adobe Odes by Pat Mora (University of Arizona Press, 2006)

meanwhile, in Tucson

June 25, 2019

If you happen to find yourself in Tucson any time between now and November 23, 2019, pop in to the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography to see A Portrait of Poetry. For the exhibit, photographer B.A. Van Sise created portraits of poets that were inspired by poems written by the poet in the portrait. In addition to about 80 photographs, the show, co-sponsored by the University of Arizona Poetry Center, also includes a video portrait of Sharon Olds.

If you can’t make it to Tucson, you can view the portraits and the poems here. The work will be published as Children of Grass: A Portrait of American Poetry (Schaffner Press/IPG) in September 2019.


May 29, 2019

The University of Arizona Poetry Center has posted a useful guide to publishing poetry. The guide addresses five topics: Polish, Research, Submit, What to Expect After Submission, and Alternatives to Traditional Literary Publishing. In addition to providing direct suggestions in each section, the guide also supplies links to outside resources on the topic. If you’re seeking a wider audience for your work, have a look at A guide for poets.

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erase for justice

December 12, 2018

We’ve mentioned erasure projects, books, and exhibits a number of times, but this one has escaped our notice. Until now. The University of Arizona Poetry Center Art for Justice project offers ten source texts and an erasure engine you can use without cost. If you’d prefer, you can make erasures of your own text. If you want to save your work, simply turn it into a PDF. Give it a try.

Speedway & Swan

November 9, 2018

Here’s another poetry podcast series you may have missed: Speedway & Swan. A monthly, one-hour free-format radio program, S&S presents contemporary poetry against a variety of musical selections. Culling from the libraries of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, host Susan Briante is joined in conversation each episode by a guest co-host who brings a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the “new shelves,” they read live. Most episodes also feature a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center’s audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963.

Tune in to the latest, Episode 42 with guest Chris Martin, or visit the S&S page on SoundCloud.

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