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The Daily Wildcat


Poetry Center starts spring with a full calender

Pascal Albright
The UA Poetry Center located at 1508 E. Helen St.

The University of Arizona Poetry Center, located at 1508 E. Helen St., holds monthly events for students, staff and members of the community.

The month of January has several events planned from Shop Talks to the UA Prose Series.

 The events are planned out by the literary director to showcase variety and what’s going on in contemporary poetry, according to Sarah Gzemski.

Gzemski is the publicity and publications coordinator at the Poetry Center and shares details about the events with people coming in with questions. 

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“Our events are planned on a yearly basis,” Gzemski said. “We sort of fill in those blanks across the year, and it’s always really exciting, people who are publishing now and doing what’s important in contemporary poetry.” 

The Poetry Center works to bring these events to not only university students but Tucson as a whole.

 It reaches out to agencies representing the poets, or sometimes the poets themselves, to set up these events. 

One event that’s coming up on the Poetry Center’s agenda is a talk with Eleanor Wilner, an American poet and editor, who is reading her work on Thursday, Jan. 18. 

She will talk about her career and success as a poet and editor. 

“There’s no preparation necessary or anything; people can just show up [to the Poetry Center] and learn more about her before she reads two days later,” Gzemski said. 

The Jan. 18 event will be held at the Poetry Center at 7 p.m. following the reading, there will be a brief Q&A, with the event concluding with a book signing. 

“The Poetry Center is a public-facing institution. All of what we do is for the community, from our education programs to our reading and lecture series,” Gzemski said. “We hope that people come, they enjoy [and] they learn a little bit more about poetry that they didn’t know before.”

The Poetry Center also orchestrates events off campus. 

On Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, UA Poetry Center docents will be leading the “Kirk-Bear Canyon Poetry Circle: Harlem Modern Poets.” 

This event is designed to expand participants’ knowledge and appreciation of poetry, according to the Poetry Center newsletter. 

“It is places like these that are great to participate in some informal discussions about poetry with other like-minded people,” Gzemski said.

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On Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Poetry Center, community members have the opportunity to attend the UA Prose Series: Kristen Radtke and Charles Yu. 

The series, which is curated by faculty of the creative writing program at the UA, presents prose writers of distinction, according to the Poetry Center newsletter. 

Radtke and Yu will read from their work, which will be followed by a brief Q&A and a book signing. 

There are various ways to stay up-to-date on what’s going on at the UA Poetry Center. 

 “We have all of our events up on various calendars online; we have our own calendar, our website and newsletter,” Gzemski said. “Signing up for our newsletter is the easiest way to know about all of the events that are coming up every single month.”

You can find their calendar on their website: 

You can also find the Poetry Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @UAPoetry Center and follow them through those platforms to stay up-to-date on the latest events.

 All events are free and open to the public. 

“This year we have just sort of a general variety of poets who are coming, all of whom are going to be amazing,” Gzemski said. 

The poetry center opens daily at 9 a.m., except for weekends. People can take tours, attend events, listen to audio of previous readings and enjoy poetry. 

The center aims “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,” according to its mission statement.

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