A Farewell Tribute to Our Interns

Tim Dyke, Education Intern

“So many students’ and teachers’ first impressions of the Poetry Center and of poetry come from meeting Tim on the red couches on Friday mornings. I admire his snappy ties, his wild and wooly hairstyles, and the way he approaches each student with warmth, curiosity, compassion, not to mention a sense of fun. His methods and attitude are contagious and so many students and teachers have benefited from his welcome, his insight, and his stewardship of the Poetry Center’s collection. I’ve personally learned so much by watching Tim ask questions, lead groups through close readings of Emily Dickinson poems, writing collaborative poems, deconstructing and constructing stories, and writing alongside his students. He is truly a master teacher and flexible member of the Poetry Center team. I’m going to miss him and everything he contributes to our education programs and the Poetry Center.”

—-Renee Angle, Education Program Coordinator of the Poetry Center

“Tim is the type of educator who can charm an entire room full of people with the warmth of his presence. He listens intently to every contribution to a discussion, encourages imaginative play and innovative thinking, and treats his audience with unfailing respect. We can’t replace Tim, but we can learn from him. We have personally “stolen” several of his classroom-management techniques for use in our own classes and field trips—we’re particularly fond of his system for eliciting discussion responses, which involves speaking to a neighbor about the possibilities of a question before offering thoughts to the group as a whole. Field trip participants tend to hang on his every word, knowing that they will be heard in turn; the dialogue that happens is fascinating and inspiring to watch. Tim’s own creative work, in fiction and poetry, is intense, vivid, and probing. He is one of our most faithful library users and can frequently be found at his favorite desk or armchair here in the Center, intently reading or writing. Tim is a serene force for good in the Poetry Center, and we’ll miss him more than we can say. Congratulations, Tim!”

—Wendy Burk, Poetry Center’s Senior Library Supervisor & Sarah Kortemeier, Senior Library Assistant of the Poetry Center

“Tim has truly been a gift to the MFA program. He came to us with the exact right combination of passion for his own work and aesthetic, and openness to the words and insights of others. In our classes together, as well as in the byways around the Poetry Center and the coffee shops of Tucson, he is filled with an infectious sense of the Question. I’d say this is the heart of being an artist.”

—Aurelie Sheehan, Head of the Creative Writing Program and Fiction Professor at The University of Arizona

Fiction excerpt by Tim

Poetry Center Intern Tim Dyke“The final reading took place in this outdoor amphitheater under open parachutes strung like translucent fungi from the tops of pine trees.  Stacy and Mom and I spread out an old tablecloth and sat on folding chairs next to our cooler.  When the reading started, I heard Stacy whisper to my mother that Roberta didn’t look black.  One of the Afghani poets read a long piece about soldiers and poppies, and then a guy who knew Jack Kerouac read a cycle of pantoums about hunting weasels with a pellet gun.  Roberta delivered a piece about dying polar bears and ancient Greeks, and then a jazz band played a lackluster version of “Take 5.”  We finished the bottle of wine, and my mother actually asked me who Sappho was. After the break a UCLA professor approached the podium. I heard from the woman at the next picnic blanket that this poet was dying of AIDS. Apparently he was really famous. The frail man performed a long poem about a guy who had stuck his hands into fire as a boy.  The character in his narrative wore protective gloves made of gold leaf and had grown afraid to touch anyone unless he was wearing them.  As the professor read, he stood under a parachute and waved his own right arm like a wand.  Words flowed from ungloved fingertips.  A small crowd of people over by the book table gasped when he finished.  Stacy whistled.”



Drew Krewer, Library Intern

“From the innovative literary journal he founded, The Destroyer, to his vigorous, stylish poetry, to his ongoing work for the Poetry Center’s library collection, Drew approaches each endeavor with both intellectual rigor and a healthy sense of play. When we arrive at work on a Thursday or Friday, we invariably think: ‘Drew is coming today!’ and that thought brightens the whole morning. Drew has been with us for three years, beginning as a volunteer and continuing as a Digital Projects intern. As a volunteer, he reviewed and inventoried our entire collection of audio/video recordings; as an intern, he continued to work extensively with that collection, uploading and creating descriptive metadata for recordings housed in voca, our online audio/video library. Drew is meticulous, highly knowledgeable, and full of good cheer. His work has been instrumental in moving the Poetry Center’s digital collections to a whole new level. We will miss his open, warm demeanor and his commitment to poetry, and we’re grateful for all he has contributed to the Poetry Center over the years. Congratulations, Drew!”

Wendy Burk, Poetry Center’s Senior Library Supervisor & Sarah Kortemeier, Senior Library Assistant of the Poetry Center

Drew Krewer brings brilliance, rigor, humor, and passion to every enterprise he takes on. His presence in Tucson as a poet, artist, curator, educator, and editor has been one of personal connection and community building--art making, and the making of spaces for the discourse of the literary and visual arts. All this, and mostly he is a dear colleague and devoted friend, truly one of the golden blessings visited upon me in a thirty-year teaching career. He is the consummate student who came and did well to come (Sappho). He is the student who lifts and betters his teachers, the teacher who gives and gives-way-to those he mentors, the traveler-artist who creates new avenues ripe for skating.

—Barbara Cully, Poet and professor at the University of Arizona

Boy Dancing Princess.

Somewhere beneath the floor, locked into an evening. Plunder princes on the smacker. Sitting in a lap––slide the quarter in, a horse of limited distance. Knees quake, a curtsey, many shoes heading toward destruction. Feeble goblets are bred from the imperious. Tell me not to move a ruffle, demand they lock us in, I have the face of a boy I used to know. The worst assumption, and of course it’s probably true. A door unlocking is a door that gives its warning.

Drew Krewer

 



Erin Liskiewicz, Marketing Intern

“Erin reminds me of sunlight. She is bright, shiny and determinedly reaches her destination, lighting up everything along the way.”

—Annie Guthrie, Marketing Associate at the Poetry Center

“One of our longest-serving library volunteers, Erin also interned with the Poetry Center Library in upbeat and tireless fashion last summer. It is to her that we owe two gorgeous, well-researched exhibits displayed last fall in the Jeremy Ingalls Gallery: Visions and Versions of Emily Dickinson and Letters to Jeremy Ingalls. In these exhibits, she showed a real knack for connecting with the subjects of her research and producing complex, vivid written portraits of Dickinson and Ingalls, as people and as poets. Erin loves discovery: whether she is learning a new photo-editing technique in Photoshop or deciphering a poet’s handwriting, she reacts with “wow-that’s-cool!” enthusiasm. It is a true pleasure to work with Erin every day. A trained chef and an accomplished wordsmith, Erin shares our love for poetry, caffeine, and a good joke; she accomplishes tasks both large and small with the same cheerful flair. Thank you so much, Erin, for your professionalism, your writing, and your marvelous company. Congratulations; we will miss you!”

—Wendy Burk, Poetry Center’s Senior Library Supervisor & Sarah Kortemeier, Senior Library Assistant of the Poetry Center

“Reading Erin’s writing makes me wish I could trade brains with her for awhile—to exist in a reality where even tasks as mundane as doing laundry prompt a stream of incisively humorous commentary. I think often of the first free-write she turned in for 201 (Intermediate Non-fiction), in which Erin discussed her relationship to and the relative merits of regular and correct flossing. This little free-write was not only as structurally sound as a complete essay, but it was more engaging to read than many fully realized essays on more substantial topics. Erin’s intuitive talent for story-telling and her depth of engagement with the world honed through her attentiveness to craft make her writing something we all can enjoy even as we learn a thing or two about our own humanity in the process. I consider myself fortunate to have an ongoing writing exchange and discussion with Erin— in the almost three years I have known her, I have learned a lot from Erin not only about the craft of writing, but also about bravely facing the life that we are so compelled to address on the page.”

—Rebecca Iosca, Adjunct Creative Writing Professor at The University of Arizona

Poetry Center Intern Erin LiskiewiczRetro Culinaire

nothing cooks like
grandma’s

old iron cast
fryer

seasoned and
glistening

on a green gas
burner

Erin Liskiewicz
 



Madison Reynolds, Library Intern

“Over the last year, as a library intern, Madison has passed like a careful and loving whirlwind through the Poetry Center’s L.R. Benes Rare Book Room. She undertook a project that entailed a review of every single book and broadside housed there—close to 1,000 rare and beautiful items, some unique, many found in no other library in the world. Her contributions—improving broadside storage, creating an oversized shelving section, updating catalog entries, developing a placeholder system, and identifying and caring for fragile items—are of lasting benefit to the Center’s collections. Every day our work is easier because of her efforts. In the midst of it all, she has also curated a wonderful exhibit on birds and poetry, which will be displayed in the Center’s Jeremy Ingalls Gallery this summer. Madison knows the library inside and out; after one of Madison’s library afternoons, we frequently turn around to discover that daily tasks have been dealt with before we even have to ask. Thank you so much, Madison, for your tireless work ethic, your meticulous eye for detail, and your love for the books we collect. Congratulations; we will miss you!”

—Wendy Burk, Poetry Center’s Senior Library Supervisor & Sarah Kortemeier, Senior Library Assistant of the Poetry Center

Sitting at his linoleum top kitchen table, slouched over with his head buried in his hairy arms, George, for the first time, needs comforting. His sole purpose in life, crafting homes for the dead, has been disrupted. He does not understand why anyone would choose the violent process of cremation over a peaceful burial service. Death is such a beautiful thing, and the living transform it into something ugly. He lifts his head and stares out the back window. Rain is falling on the dying plants, having no effect on their revival—they are too far gone. The wind sweeps some brown leaves across the ground, over the small Popsicle stick graves of the myriad animals. George reflects on burying the creatures, how he saved each body from incineration. He advocated for them because they could not stand up for themselves.”

—Madison Reynolds

 

 



Taylor Holdaway, Marketing Intern

“Taylor is a unique, gentlemanly creature, with defined vision and remarkable discipline. He is completely self-engined…and at such a young age! Something to behold…”

—Annie Guthrie, Marketing Associate at the Poetry Center

“Taylor is an exceptionally bright young man with unique modes of inquiry and a deep sense of engagement with the arts. It has been such a pleasure to work with him and to see his mind at work. I wish him luck as he goes forth into the next phase of his education. He will surely do great things.”

—Bonnie Jean Michalski, Editor Associate at the Poetry Center

On Improvisational Insect Orchestra, a short film by Sawako Nakayasu

These all play into a broad approach taken to control sensory information, furthering a sense of confusion and mystery. The mystery—the unknown—is key here. It is the mystery that drives the video forward and keeps the viewer crawling along behind, desperate to pick up even the faintest and most perplexing clue as to the secrets held within the various subtleties and nuanced extremities of the performance. It is the unknown that powers the grand machine that is Sawako Nakayasu’s Improvisational Score, for equal numbers of musicians and insects. Indeed, even when examining the performance itself (rather than the video of the performance), we can see a similar mystery. The nature of the piece is improvisational, as hinted at by the title. Every new performance of the concept produces unexplored territory; every new set of musicians and insects is like a band of adventurers trudging through an arctic waste, or perhaps a tropical jungle infested with malarial mosquitoes and ebola-ridden swamp beasts.

—Taylor Holdaway

Arizona Board of Regents