Submit Now: A “Visual Poetry of Tucson” Zine!


Have you ever written a poem using images instead of text? Are you an artist who creates visual art using text? Do you have a love and appreciation for Tucson and the Sonoran Desert?

Outspokin' & Bookish and Tucson Tome Gnome heartily invite you to submit your work for a “Visual Poetry of Tucson” Zine!

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Tucson Tome Gnome and Outspokin' & Bookish are joining forces to share the joy of poetry with our community and celebrate the beauty of our city and region through this grassroots literary arts project. The Poetry Center is thrilled to support this exciting project!



Outspokin’ & Bookish is an independently run social art project and zine bike powered by Amanda Meeks here in Tucson. The zine bike functions as a pop-up, feminist zine collection and is meant to inspire others to share their stories, ideas, & artwork in print. You’ve probably seen the bike at events like Cyclovia, BICAS art markets, and even the Poetry Center’s zine exhibit opening last spring. In addition to zine bike activities, Outspokin’ & Bookish has facilitated zine exchanges by mail and community-made zines through creative workshops for the past three years. Producing a new community zine that combines visual art, poetry, and a love of Tucson alongside the Tucson Tome Gnome and the Poetry Center is such a dream!

The Tucson Tome Gnome is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build a culture and community united in the joy of reading by providing free books to inspire literacy, reading, empathy, kindness, and happiness. You might recognize them from the bookish scavenger hunts they run once a month around Tucson! For the past two years, the Tome Gnome has partnered with the Poetry Center to hide books of poetry around town during the month of April, and we are excited to be continuing this tradition with a fun, Zine twist!

Finally, the Poetry Center is excited to partner on this effort because their mission is to advance a diverse and robust literary culture that serves a local-to-global spectrum of writers, readers, and new audiences for poetry and the literary arts. 

We are looking for submissions that: 

  • Challenge what a poem is or can be by combining elements of visual design, collage, or drawing; 
  • Conjure visual imagery using text;
  • Emphasize sense of place, belonging, and an appreciation of Tucson or the Sonoran Desert;
  • Center BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ authors/artists; 
  • Fit an 8.5x5.5 format.


The zines will be printed using a Risograph machine in an edition of 175 and will be distributed freely within the Tucson community throughout the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month. Tucson Tome Gnome will be including them alongside the books hidden during their April book hiding/scavenger hunt on April 13, Outspokin' & Bookish will have them available to give away during the Tucson Zine Fest on April 20, and the UA Poetry Center will have copies available for pick up until they run out. All contributing authors will receive up to 2 zines and should plan to pick their zines up from either the Poetry Center or Tucson Zine Fest.

Are you interested in being part of the zine? Please complete the submission form here. The submission will remain open from Monday, February 5, through Friday, February 23. Please answer as many of the questions as you can, and note that you will need to submit a document and/or image, no other file types. Email if you have questions or need something different in order to complete your submission. 

Submissions will be reviewed during the two weeks following the close of submission, and folks will be notified in March regarding the status of their submission!