Introducing Brave Books 2019-2020 & Libros Para el Viaje Tucson!

[Note: The bookdrive is on hold due to the Poetry Center's closure in response to the COVID-19 situation. Please consider holding on to books to donate later--we will be thrilled to distribute them once we can do so responsibly.]

At Kids Create this upcoming Saturday, October 19th, the Poetry Center will launch Brave Books 2019-2020: Casa Camino Real & the Literature of the US-México Borderlands

Brave Books is our annual interactive exhibit of independent bookstores and libraries from around the world, which features lost, living, and otherwise dramatic and brave oases people have built to protect, house, share, and enjoy books. This year’s theme celebrates Casa Camino Real, author Denise Chávez’s bookstore in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and the many literary traditions of the borderlands region. 

As part of Brave Books, the Poetry Center is facilitating a book drive, called Libros Para el Viaje Tucson, inspired by Libros Para el Viaje/Books for the Journey, the book drive for refugees and asylum seekers that Chávez and other book stewards started in Las Cruces in summer 2018. As of February 2019, the Las Cruces book stewards have collected over 2500 books, which are distributed to children and adults staying at hospitality centers in New Mexico. At these hospitality centers, refugees receive food, clothing, a place to sleep and other accommodations while they make longer-term arrangements and prepare for their asylum cases to be heard in court. 

Libros Para el Viaje Tucson is looking for books with positive, uplifting themes for children and adults in Spanish, Portuguese and bilingual editions. The books will be distributed to hospitality centers around Tucson, including Hotel San Marcos and Casa Alitas. Bring a book to Kids Create on October 19, or drop one off in the purple donation box any time the Poetry Center is open! Starting November 1, you can also drop off donations at Antigone Books and Make Way for Books. For larger donations or questions, please contact Wren Awry at the University of Arizona Poetry Center at The book drive will run through the end of April 2020. 

And now, here’s a sneak peak of our interactive children’s play area, inspired by Casa Camino Real, desert animals, and just a few of the borderlands many cultural traditions:

Credits: Photos by Patri Hadad. Mural by Alleycat Cat Murals. Playhouse construction by Joe Quarnberg and painting by Matt Wood.