Tucson, Arizona. October 1, 2019— The University of Arizona Poetry Center, part of the College of Humanities, is thrilled to announce a three-year partnership with CantoMundo, a national organization that cultivates a community of Latinx poets. CantoMundo will come to Tucson beginning in the summer of 2020 thanks to support from the University of Arizona College of Humanities, the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Lannan Foundation, the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, and the Amazon Literary Partnerships.
Each year, CantoMundo issues a national call for applications and selects approximately 10-12 fellows who, once accepted, are eligible to return to an annual writing retreat up to three times, thereby fostering long-term support and collaborations. The 2020-2022 retreats will be held at the University of Arizona Poetry Center and will include workshops and symposia for fellows along with evening readings by world-class authors.
College of Humanities Dean Alain-Philippe Durand met with the CantoMundo co-directors during their recent visit to Tucson. “I am excited to welcome CantoMundo to the Poetry Center and the College of Humanities,” Durand says. “Collaborating with this innovative and esteemed organization helps to fulfill our commitment to fostering an inclusive and creative literary community. The University of Arizona Poetry Center is the ideal place to nurture and encourage the next generation of poets.”
Poetry Center Executive Director Tyler Meier shared his enthusiasm: “This is a perfect partnership. The Poetry Center is excited to amplify CantoMundo’s work as a critical intervention working to create a more inclusive literary culture and ecosystem.”
In 2020, CantoMundo faculty will include Brenda Cárdenas and Urayoán Noel. Cárdenas is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Boomerang (Bilingual Press), and has served as the Milwaukee Poet Laureate. Noel is a South Bronx-based writer, performer, and translator from Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. He is the author of nine books, most recently the poetry collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press, 2015). The keynote speaker will be Fady Joudah. Joudah has published four collections of poems, The Earth in the Attic, Alight, Textu, a book-long sequence of short poems whose meter is based on cellphone character count; and, most recently, Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. In addition to working directly with fellows, Cárdenas and Noel will hold evening readings that are free and open to the public.
CantoMundo co-director Carmen Giménez Smith is excited about the partnership, saying, “The Poetry Center is perfectly situated as a national leader in the literary community to host CantoMundo and foster Latinx poets. We’re looking forward to bringing the next three retreats to the southwest and to engaging with the rich writing community at the University of Arizona.”