The Poetry Experience

On Saturday, I came to work an hour late. My manager asked me why I was so late, and I said, "I'm sorry, I was volunteering at the Poetry Center." His response was, "There's a center for poetry?" This had not been the first time I had received that response, and it probably won't be the last.  As an English major, I have read many different poets, but most people hardly ever focus on poetry. Some even go as far as saying poetry is a dead art, but what I saw at the Poetry Center today proved that poetry is still alive, and will continue to grow for future generations. There are people out there who still see the importance of poetry, and they want to spread their vision to the next generation. The biggest problem with poetry is that most people are ill-informed on the subject. Most people hear the word poetry, and think of rhyming and exalted speech, but poetry is so much more than this, and it is through events, like Family Days at the Poetry Center, that teach the public about poetry.

Family Days


The Family Days events at the Poetry Center are good for all ages. There are writing activities run by local writers for the children, and a large library of poetry for the adults. People have told me, "I don't like poetry," to which I reply, "You just haven't found the right poem yet." The Poetry Center has something for everyone. Poetry is powerful, and the children realize this especially.

The children that come to these activities have a blast. There are many children who will say, "I don't like to write," but there isn't one child that will say, "I don't like to pretend or imagine."  This is why Family Days are important; it allows children to express themselves on paper in a friendly writing community. The child that learns to appreciate writing is given a tremendous gift; they have an outlet that will always be there.  At Family Days, the children can write and submit their work to the Poetry Center anthology, dance to their favorite poems, sing along with local song writers, and let their imaginations run free.

Justin Gordon is a senior at the University of Arizona, majoring in Creative Writing.

Created on: 
Monday, March 5, 2012
Arizona Board of Regents