An Interview with Our New Literary Director: Diana Delgado!

We're so excited to welcome our new Literary Director Diana Delgado to the Poetry Center!

We asked Diana a few questions about poetry and her new role here, so we wanted to share them with you as we gear up for the upcoming Reading & Lecture Series announcements for our fall season. And you can meet Diana yourself at our upcoming Whitman Circle Summer Social on August 8th at Hotel Congress. 

Diana, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming you to Tucson! Have you spent any time in the desert before now?


Same here! Very excited about this transition and working with the U of A Poetry Center team. I have spent a bit of time in the desert if I can count visits to Palm Springs and two visits to Tucson. One thing that I love about the desert is the wind and the stars at night. `


Tell us about a book of poetry you’ve read recently that you loved.


That’s a difficult question, but…my most recent favorite book of poetry is Francine J. Harris’, play dead. Her syntax, utilization of form and the way that she goes through some of the most difficult subject matters is an exercise in mastery, control, and vulnerability – such a great book.


What most excites you about your position as Literary Director at the Poetry Center?


So many things excite me about this role! But the one that most immediately comes to mind is the opportunity to work toward bridging the diversity that Arizona is known for with the center’s programming and participation. The center is well known for its inclusive practices, but thinking, how can we excite a broader population?


You’re a poet, and you have a book forthcoming in 2019 from BOA Editions. Can you tell us a little bit about it?


Absolutely, my first poetry collection, Tracing the Horse, is about growing up Mexican-American in Southern California—the challenges I experienced and the conflicts we all encounter in tight-knit families. It’s an autobiography written in the tradition of surrealism, so it’s definitely an alternative narrative to more traditional coming-of-age manuscripts.


What kinds of food do you love (so we can all give you recommendations)?


Being Mexican-American, Mexican food is my favorite! I would love recommendations for Sonoran-style Mexican restaurants. That’s a regional style of cooking that I’m looking forward to exploring. Also, coming from New York, for sure I’ll miss pizza so will be on the look out for places that can satisfy that craving.


Diana Marie Delgado's poetry collection, Tracing the Horse, is forthcoming from BOA Editions (Fall, 2019). She is a recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry and has received grants and scholarships from the Frost Place Conference on Poetry, Letras Latinas, Hedgebrook and Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. Delgado holds a BA in Poetry from UC Riverside and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. A member of the CantoMundo and Macondo writing communities, her poetry and theater work are housed at