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Climate Change and Poetry series draws to a close


Alison Hawthorne Deming pictured in 2013. Deming will be at the Climate Change & Poetry event on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Climate change is a well-discussed topic today. Many individuals, such as politicians, scientists and the public, have different opinions on the importance of climate change.

Starting in October 2016, the UA Poetry Center has featured eight poets, such as Camille Dungy, Joy Harjo and Ross Gay, who have addressed the many issues related to climate change in the “Climate Change & Poetry” series. The last event in the series will be on Thursday, Feb. 16. 

These events are part readings and part discussions. These events are supported by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, the College of Science, the Africana Studies Program, the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry and the Institute of the Environment.

RELATED: UA Poetry Center series discusses climate change, one poem at a time

Hannah Ensor, the Poetry Center’s reading and lecture series coordinator, shared that an earlier series, “Spectacular Poetics, or the Poetry of Spectacle,” was a compact series in February 2016. 

The four poets featured in the series addressed a variety of topics such as pop culture, spectacle and media representation and how these topics overlapped with their poetry.

According to the UA Poetry Center’s webpage, the “Climate Change & Poetry” series is the second installment of readings centered on a common questions.


This installment focuses on two central questions: What role does poetry have in articulating the ecological present, and what role does poetry have in shaping the future?

Eric Magrane, research associate for the Institute of the Environment, said that politics, specifically in relationship to policies on climate change, plays an important role in how the people deal with the issues surrounding climate change.

“I think the current political situation has forced many people to think about the connections between climate change and social justice,” Magrane said. 

Magrane said the series at the Poetry Center is a great way to share awareness of climate change with the community. 

“The climate change and poetry series brings a new way of thinking about how we address some of the key environmental issues we face today,” Magrane said. 

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Julie Johnson, a library assistant at the Poetry Center, said she cannot speak for anyone else, but she believes “each writer has brought different perspectives about the topic to the audience.”

Magrane said poetry and art speak to people’s emotion and encourage action.

“Bringing poetry and the arts to environmental issues is crucial in the moment to help galvanize support for the actions we need to take moving forward to make the Earth a good place for us all to live and for the future,” Magrane said.

Ensor said that Tucson is rich with people who work with art and environment overlaps, so there will more than likely be similar series on climate change in the future.

The last event in the series will be on Thursday, Feb. 16 and will feature Alison Hawthorne Deming at 7 p.m. at the Poetry Center at 1508 E. Helen St. 

For more information, stop by the Poetry Center or visit their website at

Follow Kirshana Guy on Twitter.

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