Introducing 1508 - a blog where poetry lives!

1508 [a blog where poetry lives]

1508 E. Helen St. is the address of the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and in the past our blog has been exclusively tied to the happenings here. But we’re thinking bigger. The Poetry Center is housed in Tucson, AZ, but increasingly our reach is not. From narratives on teaching poetry to interviews to stories and recommendations from an array of writers who excite us, we want to invite you into our living room Monday through Thursday with original content, and Poetry Center information on Fridays. 1508 is our online address, so bookmark us and settle in—this is a blog where poetry lives! Here's what you can expect to see. 


Our Feature writers delve into local and national issues of writing and community. 

On Teaching Claudia Rankine's "Citizen" by Suzi F. Garcia

"T" Time: TRANS*STUDIES meets itself in Tucson by Riley Beck

Spork Press: A Storefront by Nichole Riggs

Ongoing series on Poetry & Place by Sarah Gzemski


Part of what makes the Poetry Center special is its focus on education. The Writing the Community program pairs students with working writers to teach in elementary, middle, and high schools, and they share their insights with us here.

My Heart is Like a Box of Names: Using List Poems to Write into Collective Pain by Lisa M. O'Neill

An Interview with Brenda Hillman on Teaching Poetry by Yanara Friedland

Integrating Visual Art into the Poetry Workshop by Jeff Urdang

Inside of An Egg, There is More Than An Egg: Teaching Aracelis Girmay by Wren Awry


Mathias Svalina, Dream Deliverer: An Interview by Paul Bisagni

An Interview with Rita Dove by Sarah Gzemski

Institutional Garbage: An Online Exhibition by Wendy Burk

Dreaming This World Into Existence: An Interview with Alice Notley by Sarah Gzemski

As part of our Climate Change + Poetry series, we've interviewed climate scientists Jonathan Overpeck, Eric Magrane, and Diana Liverman

You can find a complete list of Interviews here


We are excited to feature Columns that bring poetry into your space and inspire examination, interaction, and relation with writers and artists all over the world. 

Tied to our Reading & Lecture Series, in From the Stacks we solicit authors to wander our library and choose 10 books that have been important to them, that they recommend, or that call to them from the shelves. Often we wind up with stacks much larger than 10, and you'll be able to see what your favorite authors are reading and considering. 

Bookmarked asks writers to part the curtains to reveal a "shadow bibliography" behind their newest work.

Many of us have distinct memories of the exact place and time in our lives when we read a significant book. Where Was I? is a regular series in which we ask authors for whom this is true to contribute a story of such a reading experience. We ask them: what was the book, what were your coordinates, where were you “in your life,” and are the book and the place intertwined in a special way for you?

Rare Books is a regular column showcasing items from the L.R. Benes Rare Book Room. The L.R. Benes Rare Book Room features artist books, first editions, chapbooks, and broadsides, among many other treasures of literary significance. These holdings are searchable in the Poetry Center catalog and may be viewed by the public upon request during our open hours, Monday through Friday.

Throwback Thursday is a column in which we present an author reading one poem from our voca archives. For more audio and video of poetry, including by the featured authors, visit  voca.

Speedway & Swan is a fortnightly one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections. Culling from the exceptional libraries of his partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, creator and host Brian Blanchfield is joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brings to the hour a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. Each show also features a recorded performance from voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963.


Finally, on Fridays we'll feature Articles about the happenings here at the Poetry Center. Here we'll post information like our involvement in a historic coalition of poetry organizations, participating in the call for nominations for Tucson's Poet Laureate, delving into classes & workshops offered each semester, and celebrating the fundraising and grants that help us run.

Occasionally, we'll include Helen & Vine posts, which spotlight some of the oddities and lesser known objects and places within the Poetry Center.