Announcing Fall 2021 Programs at the Poetry Center


Welcome to the fall 2021 season at the Poetry Center!  If you’ve already had a chance to revisit our reopened library, you’ve seen the many changes we’ve made to our space.  If you haven’t yet been back to the Poetry Center since we reopened in August, we’re so excited to welcome you back this fall. 

You may be wondering what Covid-19 precautions to expect; with University of  Arizona guidance, here are the ways we’ve prepared our programs and space to create the safest experiences we can. Thanks in advance for wearing a mask when you visit!

Library and Exhibits

There are two wonderful exhibits this fall: the “60 books for 60 years” exhibit will be shown throughout the fall season in our new, state-of-the-art exhibit cases.  Learn more about the new cases from Library Director Sarah Kortemeier here.  This exhibit highlights the Poetry Center’s new collecting capacity made possible by our recently funded rare book endowment. “60 Books For 60 Years” will be shown throughout the fall in three installments; catch the first installment now, and plan to come back to see it all!  

The second exhibit, “Poems in Silver and Glass” features art by Phoenix-based artist Mary Lucking. Lucking’s work helps people explore and understand the environments and communities where they live. For this exhibit, Mary created 26 wooden pieces that approximate the dimensions of a poetry book; for each she’s created 26 evocative cloisonné enamel inlayed panels.  The interactive installation offers a non-verbal counterpoint to the experience of reading, celebrating chance encounters and opening space for the mind to re-center itself between one poetry book and the next.  Each piece has been placed throughout the Poetry Center library stacks; as you move through, you’ll discover them.  Once viewed, you can return them to a spot in the stacks of your choosing. 

For those interested in exploring our collection online, we’ll be launching a new digital exhibit focused literary translation and the pandemic called “Inflection Points” on October 5th, as part of the virtual American Literary Translators Association conference. All our past digital exhibits can be explored online.

We’ve continued diligently collecting throughout the pandemic, and there are many new collections to explore at the Poetry Center!  At this time, we are welcoming individual and small group visits.  We are waiting to schedule large group visits, including field trips, for a future date. 

Readings and Lecture Series and Classes and Workshops

We are thrilled to cautiously return to many in-person programs at the Poetry Center this fall!  Masks are required for all Reading and Lecture Series events, and you can expect the breezeway doors to be open for Rubel Room programs to increase airflow. Please dress comfortably! If you would prefer to view our live events online, updates to the Rubel Room make livestreaming possible!  Reading and Lecture series events will be livestreamed at the time of the event here.  The recordings of Reading and Lecture Series events will be later archived in our audiovisual archive, Voca.

Additional improvements to the Rubel Room include updates to our assisted listening infrastructure: a new loop system within the Rubel Room and a new app-based technology that uses bluetooth to share sound from the Poetry Center soundboard to your smartphone. 

Our Reading and Lecture Series includes a celebration of literary translation on September 21st at 7pm, featuring the American Literary Translators Association board president Ellen Elias-Bursac, ALTA staff, and local translation practitioners.  Luis Alberto Urrea returns to Tucson on October 14th, in an event presented in partnership with the 2021 Tucson Humanities Festival.  On October 21st, we welcome Mahogany Browne to Tucson to read from her just-released collection “I Remember Death by its Proximity to What I Love.”  In November, we’ll feature our annual Tom Sanders Memorial Reading on the 4th, featuring poets Carl Marcum and Laurie Ann Guerrero; we round out the fall season in the series with a visit on December 2nd from 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry winner Jericho Brown.  The reading series is co-sponsored by Innovations in Healthy Aging--a strategic collaboration led by the University of Arizona Health Sciences, rethinking what it means to thrive while aging.

Our classes and workshops program will feature in-person and remote options, with the hope to serve as many as possible in the mode of their preference; while many courses are fully registered, some still have spaces left!  Learn more about classes offered by faculty visiting in the Reading and Lecture series and from our Tucson community here.

K-12 Programs

Until there is a readily available vaccine option for youth, our programs serving K-12 audiences will remain remote.  Small group visits to the children’s area in the library are welcome.


Stay safe!  We hope to see you at our fall programs soon!

Tyler Meier

Executive Director