The University of Arizona Poetry Center- May 2015

May at the Poetry Center
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I write this with the Sonoran desert a full flower factory. All around town, saguaros are putting on their crowns of white and yellow flowers. It’s been a remarkable year in this landscape, and we’ve had quite a year at the Poetry Center, too—one that brought us much exciting programming, including a visit from virtuosic Walt Whitman illustrator Allen Crawford, whose illuminated version of Whitman’s iconic “Song of Myself” reinvented the old poem anew. In collaboration with the Poetry Foundation, we hosted the exhibit “Shame Every Rose: Images from Afghanistan,” a landmark translation and photo documentary work that doubly functions as long-form journalism about the cultural realities of Pashtun women in contemporary Afghanistan and as a breathtaking work of art. We offered literary discussion groups and offsite poetry events and collaborated with partners across the university and city. Our K-12 education programs thrived, including the launch of eight-week-long creative writing residencies in local schools.

We depend on your support, and your gifts make a critical difference in how we program from year to year.  For our 2015-16 season, more than 80% of our programming budget must be raised privately. Support the literary arts in Tucson!  Please make a generous new gift to the Poetry Center today!

– TYLER MEIER, Executive Director

Summer Events at the Poetry Center

Our summer calendar of events has been published to our website and soon will arrive as a postcard in your mailbox if you’re on our snail-mail list! We’re delighted to be showingBeyond Word and Image, an exhibition of art by members of PaperWorks: The Sonoran Collective for Paper and Book Artists, along with an opening reception on June 4. Our summer resident poet Hieu Minh Nguyen reads with Matt Bell on July 23. We’re offering three Whitman Circle summer socials in July and August, including a talk by Arizona State Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos on Magical Realism in the 21st Century, a talk by poet Shelly Taylor on Hick Poetics, and a screening of Even Though the Whole World is Burning, a documentary about the poet and environmentalist W.S. Merwin.

Summer Creative Workshops at the Poetry Center

This summer we’re offering great creative writing workshops, each designed to help you take the next step forward in your writing life. But with so many compelling courses on offer, you may be having difficulty picking one. If so, this resource, which we call You Should Take This Course If, is for you! “Clarity Demystified: A Poetry Workshop” with Christopher Nelson is sold out, but you can still grab your spot in the following courses.

You should take Dislocating the Prose Poem: A Generative Workshop and Survey, taught by Jamison Crabtree, if:

  • You’ve ever wondered how the structure of a language can influence the ways its speakers approach the world.
  • You’ve ever rearranged the objects on a desk, in a room, or anywhere, trying to make the space feel just right.
  • You’ve ever watched a large cat fit itself into a small box and wondered, “What does that cat think it’s doing?”

You should take The Art of Research: Collaging the Personal Essay, taught by Aisha Sabatini Sloan, if:

  • You have noticed yourself, of late, loudly referring to Maggie Nelson as a goddess.
  • The first few pages of Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje make you want to throw the book across the room in an explosion of creative overstimulation.
  • Your favorite thing about traveling is people-watching at the airport.

You should take Shaping Text with Letterpress, taught by Amanda Beekhuizen, if:

  • You’re interested in thinking about words visually.
  • You’re looking to collect some new tools for your toolbox: typesetting, linocut, and simple bookbinding.
  • You want to work with your hands and get inky!

You should take Cut to the Chase: Creating Plot in Fiction, taught by Ted McLoof, if:

  • You want to learn how to grab readers by the eyeballs—and hold on until you’re good and ready to let them go.
  • You wish to wield the powers of narrative persuasion, seduction, and thrill.
  • You want someone to win a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for optioning your perfect story!

You should take The Fact of Fiction: Turning Life into Story, taught by Ted McLoof, if:

  • You want to learn the important difference between a story, and the story of your life.
  • You’re a card-carrying member of the Raymond Carver Fan Forever Club.
  • You want to turn the sloppy highs and lows of your existence into the start of a sharp, faceted short story.

Poetry Center Awarded NEA Art Works Grant

We’re thrilled to announce that Poetry Center has been selected to receive a $10,000 NEA Art Works grant in support of our efforts in the upcoming year. Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity. The grant to the Poetry Center is one of 1,023 awards the NEA will make in this funding round, totaling $74.3 million. We are deeply grateful to the NEA for supporting our work in Southern Arizona and beyond!

Copyright © 2015 The University of Arizona Poetry Center, All rights reserved.
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Tucson, AZ 85721

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