Poetry Coalition members, including those at the UA, believe that by collaborating on programs, they will spotlight the art form’s unique ability to spark dialogues, create opportunities for meaningful conversation, discover unexpected connections and inspire new readers. (Photo: Robert Reck)
Poetry Coalition members, including those at the UA, believe that by collaborating on programs, they will spotlight the art form’s unique ability to spark dialogues, create opportunities for meaningful conversation, discover unexpected connections and inspire new readers. (Photo: Robert Reck)

UA Poetry Center Joins Coalition of Poetry Organizations

The Poetry Center is part of a national coalition of poetry organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Feb. 20, 2017
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In addition to the UA Poetry Center, some of the other Poetry Coalition members include: 

  • The Academy of American Poets
  • The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/National Student Poets Program
  • The AsianAmericanWriters' Workshop
  • CantoMundo
  • The Cave Canem Foundation
  • The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
  • Kundiman
  • Lambda Literary Foundation
  • Letras Latinas at Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies
  • Mass Poetry
  • The Poetry Foundation
  • The Poetry Society of America
  • Urban Word//National Youth Poet Laureate Program
  • The Wick Poetry Center

The University of Arizona Poetry Center is housed in one of three landmark buildings for poetry in the nation. In addition to its world-renowned collection of contemporary poetry, the center is known for its long-running readings and lecture series, international symposia, classes and workshops, writers' residencies, and a wide range of programs for children and youth. For more information, visit poetry.arizona.edu or call 520-626-3765.

The Poetry Coalition is launching events based on the theme "Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration," which borrows a line from the poem "Borderbus" by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
The Poetry Coalition is launching events based on the theme "Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration," which borrows a line from the poem "Borderbus" by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

Twenty nonprofit poetry organizations from across the United States, including the University of Arizona Poetry Center, have formed a historic coalition dedicated to working together to promote the important contributions of poets.

Now, more than ever, members of the Poetry Coalition believe poetry has a positive role to play in the nation. Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets and a coalition member, described the project as "an effort to spark new civic dialogue in ways that only poetry can."

Added Benka: "We believe through reading, writing and discussing poems we learn about one another on our most human level, which inspires empathy and compassion, and hopefully positive change."

The Poetry Coalition will launch its inaugural event, presenting multiple programs throughout the month of March on the theme "Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration," which borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera's poem "Borderbus."

The Poetry Center, housed within the UA College of Humanities, will present multiple programs addressing overlaps between poetry and figurative and literal migration, including issues of translation, the private and public life of poetry, and poetry's role in addressing human migration, borders and cultural interplay.

"Most of all, it is the coalition's hope to bring visibility to the role that poets and poetry play in our culture," Tyler Meier, executive director of the Poetry Center and coalition member, said of the effort. "We're collaborating in the shared belief that together we can best spotlight poetry's unique ability to spark dialogues, create meaningful conversations, discover unexpected connections with each other and inspire new readers."

Poetry Center programs will include a featured reading with Herrera and a panel discussion involving Herrera and Alberto Ríos, Arizona's poet laureate and Academy of American Poets chancellor.

"In our mutual effort to collaborate on the common theme of poetry's relationship to migration this March, I would offer this: We're beings based in language," Meier said. "If poetry is a record of our best uses of language, then it is critical that we seek out poetry for what it can teach us about the complicated social and political challenges that vex our moment."