Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, University of Arizona visual art students collaborated with the Poetry Center (then known as the Ruth Stephan Poetry Center) to create silkscreen publicity posters for Poetry Center readings. Former Poetry Center Director Richard Shelton initiated a student competition to produce designs for these posters; the winning design for each reading was selected by the Poetry Center staff, produced by a professional lithographer, and distributed widely. The resulting posters are colorful, exuberant, and frequently emblematic of the times. Designs range from an op art-inspired poster for Lawrence Ferlinghetti to a poster incorporating the red sun of the Japanese national flag for a reading by Gary Snyder (who spent a number of years in Japan). The posters present a stunning array of famous names from the period, including Ferlinghetti, Snyder, Ai, James Tate, and Elizabeth Bishop.
This exhibit, curated by Wendy Burk, is on display in the Audio/Video Room of the Poetry Center Library. "Vintage Poetry Center Posters" may also be accessed through the Arizona Memory Project at http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/landingpage/collection/posters.