Wyoming Arts Council

Congrats on U of A Poetry Center opening

Sometimes we wander away from Wyoming topics to cover important regional literary events —

The University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson will hold is “Housewarming Festival” for its new building on Sunday, Oct. 14, noon-5 p.m. I wish I could just jet down there for the day. Since that’s not possible, we’ll send good wishes to the Center, its friendly staff, and its many wonderful books and events.

I visited the Poetry Center’s old building two summers ago with my son Kevin. He was taking me on a tour of the University of Arizona campus on a lovely July day, the temperature a comfortable 120 degrees in the shade (if you could find any). We stepped into the Poetry Center for some water and AC and the balm that poetry provides. You can just wander around the library and pull books from your favorite poets off the shelf. I hunkered down with a book of jazz-inspired poems by California’s Al Young and later read a few of the shorter poems by the late Thomas McGrath. Spotted books by Wyoming’s David Romtvedt and Charles Levendosky. Kevin and I were fortified with poetry when we had to re-emerge into the hellish heat.

It should be more temperate on Sunday for the housewarming. It features a cool new (and shady) outdoor stage. Here are some details from the Poetry Center’s web site:

Tucson is home to one of the greatest poetry collections in the world and it is now open in a beautiful new library that reflects that distinction. Come celebrate with poets, music, art, performance, bookmaking, acrobats, food, and activities for everyone. The Housewarming Festival features R. Carlos Nakai, Alberto Ríos, Makako, Charles Alexander, Billy Collins, Al Perry, Tucson Madonnari, Typing Explosion, Luna Llena, Ofelia Zepeda, Marianne Dissard and Matt Mitchell, Brenda Hillman, Odaiko Sonora, Jane Miller, Robert Hass, Stories that Soar, Flam Chen, Alison Deming, Sonoran Snow Cones, Steve Orlen, Tucson Slam Team, Richard Shelton, Post & Bind, the Binary Wall Decoding Contest, and abundantly, heliographically more!

–Michael Shay

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