Online Exhibitions

A broadside is a single sheet of paper with printed text that is designed to be displayed like a poster. Originally designed for the quick dissemination of information, broadsides were posted in public places and distributed as addenda to newspapers; the Declaration of Independence had its first widespread distribution in broadside form. Recently, however, the broadside has evolved in both form and intention: the term now frequently refers to single-sheet presentations of individual poems, and the modern poetry broadside is made from a variety of materials, from the simple and inexpensive (such as cardstock and computer paper) to the luxurious and delicate (such as vellum and handmade papers). Poetry broadsides, therefore, have a remarkable artistic range. The broadside form allows for the re-imagining of text on the page: a poem can be scored differently on a broadside than it might be in a book, and the visual design of a broadside highlights and illuminates the text in unique and frequently surprising ways. Poetry broadsides are generally rare from their first printing, as they are often issued in limited editions of 100 or fewer. The Poetry Center’s collection includes hundreds of broadsides; the works in this exhibit represent some highlights from that collection.

This exhibit, curated by Sarah Kortemeier, was originally presented in the Jeremy Ingalls Gallery of the University of Arizona Poetry Center from June 1 to August 10, 2011.

Mars Being Red
Mars Being Red by Marvin Bell

Marvin Bell. “Mars Being Red.” Paradise Valley, AZ: Mummy Mountain Press, 2008. Designed by Karla Elling.

Karla Elling, a former Program Coordinator for the Arizona State University Creative Writing Program, is the proprietor of Mummy Mountain Press; she publishes artist books and poetry broadsides. Her work is notable for its use of unusual papers, striking color schemes, and sensitive translation of text into image. Here, she creates a vivid palette to accompany Marvin Bell’s poem “Mars Being Red.”

Burning Deck Postcards by James Camp and Nancy Condee
[I enter the Plaidland Redemption Center] by James Camp
Saint Agnes Goes to the Circus by Nancy Condee

James Camp. “[I enter the Plaidland Redemption Center].” Burning Deck Postcards: The Third Ten. Providence, RI: Burning Deck Press, 1975. Designed by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop.

Nancy Condee. “Saint Agnes Goes to the Circus.” Burning Deck Postcards: The Third Ten. Providence, RI: Burning Deck Press, 1975. Designed by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop.

Burning Deck Postcards by Lissa McLaughlin and Rosmarie Waldrop
The Snake by Lissa McLaughlin
[looking for you in] by Rosmarie Waldrop

Lissa McLaughlin. “The Snake.” Burning Deck Postcards: The Third Ten. Providence, RI: Burning Deck Press, 1975. Designed by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop.

Rosmarie Waldrop. “[looking for you in].” Burning Deck Postcards: The Third Ten. Providence, RI: Burning Deck Press, 1975. Designed by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop.

From 1974-1978, Burning Deck Press printed four series of poetry postcards designed by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop. The playful quality of the poems is echoed in each postcard’s visual design. Here we’ve featured Burning Deck’s third series of postcards, published in 1975.

Two Poems for Courage and Change
Sea by Etel Adnan
Parents of Murdered Palestinian Boy...by Naomi Shihab Nye

Etel Adnan. “Sea.” Silver Spring, Maryland: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 2006. Designed by Etel Adnan.

Naomi Shihab Nye. “Parents of Murdered Palestinian Boy Donate His Organs to Israelis.” Silver Spring, Maryland: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 2006. Designed by Beck Whitehead.

This set of broadsides, titled “Two Poems for Courage and Change,” contains poems on humanitarian themes by Etel Adnan and Naomi Shihab Nye. Both poems passionately advocate for compassion in a damaged world.

Two Broadsides by Timothy M. Riordan and Diana Duncan Holmes
Sweet Lament by Timothy M. Riordan
Triptych by Timothy M. Riordan

Timothy M. Riordan. “Sweet Lament.” Cincinnati, OH: 1989. Designed by Diana Duncan Holmes.

Timothy M. Riordan. “Triptych.” Cincinnati, OH: 1989. Designed by Diana Duncan Holmes.

Poet Timothy M. Riordan and visual artist Diana Duncan Holmes collaborated to produce a set of 10 broadsides in a limited edition of 50. These broadsides incorporate handwriting, Japanese woodcuts, photography, and textured layers of paper to amplify and illustrate Riordan’s text.

To a Desert Poet
To a Desert Poet by Brenda Hillman

Brenda Hillman. “To a Desert Poet.” Iowa City, IA: Empyrean Press, 2007.

Our collection includes a number of broadsides produced specifically for Poetry Center special events. “To a Desert Poet,” for example, was designed for the opening of the Poetry Center’s current home, the Helen S. Schaefer Building, in 2007. 

Up in Haiku
Up in Haiku by Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson. “Up In Haiku.” Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Poetry Center, 2008. Designed by Denise Barnes.

“Up In Haiku” was produced for the Poetry Center’s memorial tribute honoring longtime UA Creative Writing faculty member Jon Anderson.

Story of Learning
Story of Learning by Matt Rotando

Matt Rotando. “Story of Learning.” Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Poetry Center, 2007.

“Story of Learning” comes from the Poetry Center’s series of broadsides celebrating winning poems from the annual Academy of American Poets competition, open to all University of Arizona students. The Poetry Center has sponsored this competition since 1979; past winners include Mark Doty, Li-Young Lee, and Tony Hoagland. 

The Long Boat
The Long Boat by Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz. “The Long Boat.” New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995. Designed by Karla Elling.

This broadside showcasing Stanley Kunitz’s poem “The Long Boat” is a familiar treasure of the Poetry Center collection; it was designed by Arizona writer and visual artist Karla Elling.

L'Acteur de la Passion
L'Acteur de la Passion by Jean Follain

Jean Follain. “L’Acteur de la Passion.” Honfleur, France: Galerie de L’Estuaire-Honfleur, n.d.

This round case contains a broadside by French lawyer, judge, and poet Jean Follain.

My Lethe
My Lethe by Chase Twichell

Chase Twichell. “My Lethe.” New York: Center for Book Arts, 2009. Designed by Roni Gross.

“My Lethe,” by Ausable Press founder Chase Twichell, was produced by the New York-based Center for Book Arts.

Create Culture
Create Culture by Chax Press

“Create Culture.” Tucson, AZ: Chax Press, 1993.

Publications from Tucson presses and literary institutions form a vital part of the Poetry Center’s catalog, and many of the broadsides in our collection are locally made. “Create Culture” was published by Chax Press, one of Tucson’s oldest and most respected literary presses.

In Spring
In Spring by Steve Orlen

Steve Orlen. “In Spring.” Tucson, AZ: New Michigan Press, 2011.

University of Arizona faculty member and New Michigan Press editor Ander Monson produced “In Spring” in memory of Steve Orlen, who helped to found the University of Arizona’s creative writing program.

The Mudlarks
The Mudlarks by Karen Falkenstrom

Karen Falkenstrom. “The Mudlarks.” Tucson, AZ: Kore Press, n.d.

“The Mudlarks” is from Kore Press, a Tucson literary press dedicated to publishing and promoting women’s voices; the poem is by Kore Press co-founder Karen Falkenstrom.

If It Came From My Heart
If It Came From My Heart by T. Begley and Olga Broumas

T. Begley and Olga Broumas. “If It Came From My Heart.” Tucson, AZ: Tucson Poetry Festival, 1993.

“If It Came From My Heart,” by T. Begley and Olga Broumas, was printed for the poets’ reading at the Tucson Poetry Festival (one of the Southwest’s longest-running literary festivals).

Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight
Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight by Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield. “Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight.” Paradise Valley, AZ: Mummy Mountain Press, 1995. Designed by Karla Elling.

“Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight” was printed on paper containing wild grasses from the edge of Jane Hirshfield’s field; this broadside was issued in an edition of only 19 copies.

Two "Poetry Trading Cards" from Fact-Simile Press
Rachel Blau DuPlessis by Fact-Simile Press
Nathaniel Tarn by Fact-Simile Press

“Rachel Blau DuPlessis.” Philadelphia, PA: Fact-Simile Press, 2011.

“Nathaniel Tarn.” Philadelphia, PA: Fact-Simile Press, 2011.

These “poetry trading cards” from Fact-Simile Press are printed on cardstock in a highly portable (and entertaining) format. Each trading card includes a poem by the featured poet on the back.

Two Center for Book Arts Broadsides by Rachel Hadas and Erica Hunt
Nostos by Rachel Hadas
Assisted Running by Erica Hunt

Rachel Hadas. “Nostos.” New York: Center for Book Arts, 2009. Designed by Delphi Basilicato. Drawing by Artemis Schwebel.

Erica Hunt. “Assisted Running.” New York: Center for Book Arts, 2008. Designed by Ana Cordeiro.

Two Center for Book Arts Broadsides by Lisa Jarnot and Lila Zemborain
Altered States by Lisa Jarnot
Rasgado by Lila Zemborain

Lisa Jarnot. “Altered States.” New York: Center for Book Arts, 2001. Designed by Roni Gross. Artwork by Rory Golden.

Lila Zemborain. “Rasgado [Torn].” Translated by Rosa Alcalá. New York: Center for Book Arts, 2002. Designed by Delphi Basilicato.

These broadsides come from the Broadside Reading Series at the Center for Book Arts in New York. The Center produces broadsides in limited editions of 100-150 for each poet who participates in the reading series.

Arizona Board of Regents