Summer Residency Program

Applications for our Summer 2016 residency will be accepted from January 15 through April 3, 2016 at our Submittable. Check back for details.

Since 1994, the Poetry Center’s Residency Program has offered writers an opportunity to develop their work. The Poetry Center will award one residency each summer for a poet to spend two weeks in Tucson, Arizona developing his/her work. Writers at any stage of their careers may apply; emerging writers are welcome. The residency includes a $500 stipend and a two-week stay in a studio apartment located within steps of the Center’s renowned library of contemporary poetry. The residency is offered between June 1 and August 31.

2015 Summer Resident:

We are delighted to announce Hieu Minh Nguyen as our 2015 Summer Resident, as selected by Eduardo C. Corral!

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Press, 2014). Hieu is a Kundiman fellow, a recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from The Loft Literary Center. His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as The Journal, PANK, The Paris-American, Muzzle, Vinyl, Indiana Review, and other journals. He lives in Minneapolis. 

Hieu will read at the UA Poetry Center on Thursday, July 23rd.

Congratulations to Hieu Minh Nguyen, and thank you again to Eduardo C. Corral!

We also want to congratulate the three runners-up for this experience: Adam Giannelli, Jeff Pearson, and Éireann Lorsung. 

And, of course, thank you to all who applied! We deeply appreciate your sharing your poetry with us. And stay tuned for information on 2016's Summer Residency.


The Residency Experience

The guest apartment is located within the University of Arizona campus and on the premises of the Poetry Center. There are a few coffee shops and restauraunts nearby, and the guest apartment comes equipped with a bicycle. Tucson's streetcar provides convenient transportation to Fourth Avenue and downtown, where you can find restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores.

Temperatures in Tucson average in the 100's during the summer. Mornings and evenings are cool and great for hiking in the Sonoran Desert. The monsoon season hits about the end of June, and is usually at its peak in July. Some residents find the heat overwhelming at first. 

Beyond the initial welcome, for which we stock the guest house with some basic essentials, the residents are responsible for buying their own food and other supplies as well as doing their own laundry at nearby laundromats. Residents are responsible for providing their own transportation to Tucson and for the duration of their stay.

Unlike other residency programs, there are no other writers or artists staying on-site simultaneously. However, the Poetry Center library is full of fun and interesting patrons who like to talk about books. The Poetry Center staff, volunteers, and docents do provide some hosting and welcome activities for the summer residents; however, applicants should understand that they are largely on their own. We leave it to each individual to decide how much engagement with the community s/he would like, understanding that residents are here for uninterrupted writing time. There are no obligations to teach a class or hold office hours (although some residents have done this and it has been received well by the community). The only obligation, aside from maintaining residence in the guest apartment for two to four weeks, is to give a reading with other local writers sometime during the visit.

We provide residencies for one poet per summer. The guest apartment cannot accomodate spouses, significant others, or pets, (unless the pet is a certified service animal). The primary purpose of this program is to provide time for people to write. While we do have free internet access in the Poetry Center, as well as in the guest cottage, the guest cottage is not equipped with a landline. Residents are responsible for bringing their own cell phone, laptop or computer, car, and exercise equipment. Smoking in the guest house is not permitted.


What Our Residents Have To Say

"My summer residency was wonderful. A pleasure. And honor. My time in the heat and sand with the blue-tail lizards and saguaro (not to mention the cricket inhabiting the fuse box) was truly a gift. Tucson inspired my work and fed my soul. The Poetry Center library is simply gorgeous – a well from which I drew again and again."

          -- Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, 2012 Summer Resident


"This library, with its open stacks and fresh pages, with its 50 years of company, its clarity and carefulness, its brightness and cushiness-[those lovely couches!]-and the love that is so evident in every inch, is like no where I have ever been, but it is still familiar, as if I've always known it somehow."

          -- Genine Lentine, 2012 Summer Resident


"My novel was absolutely rescued by my stay in Tucson, by the days of sitting in the library watching the monsoon crackle over the mountains and long quiet nights at Casa Libre listening to the cicadas sing. Seriously, there is no doubt in my mind that my month in Tucson saved my book. I was ready to give up, throw it away and forget it had ever been. That quiet month, just sitting with my book, crossing out whole chapters and making notes and not panicking because I knew I had time, made all the difference."

          -- Naomi Alderman, 2004 Summer Resident


Past Residents

2014: Stephen Willey
2013: Anne Shaw (poetry) & Polly Rosenwaike (fiction)
2012: Genine Lentine (poetry) & Harrison Candelaria Fletcher (non-fiction)
2011: Harmony Holiday (poetry) & Mary Jones (fiction)
2010: Sean Bernard
2009: James Allen Hall
2008: Shashi Baat
2007: Anna Green
2006: Cody Walker
2005: Eric Abbott
2004: Naomi Alderman
2003: Esther Lee
2002: Rebecca Davidson
2001: Joshua Poteat
2000: Jonathon Keats
1999: Beth Ann Fennelly
1998: Martha Silano
1997: Caroline Langston
1996: Lise Goett
1995: Kymberly Taylor
1994: Mark Wunderlich



Arizona Board of Regents