Please note that registration for all Fall 2017 University of Arizona Poetry Center Classes and Workshops opens August 15, 2017. Registration remains open for each class until it fills.

If the class that interests you does not appear below, it is because the class is fully enrolled. You may be added to a waitlist for the class by emailing the Becka Ranta, the Events Coordinator, at

For more details on the Classes & Workshops program and the classes this fall, please visit the Classes and Workshops Current Offerings page of the University of Arizona Poetry Center web site.

Pre-registration is now available for the 2017 Thinking Its Presence Conference, and will be open until August 15 at midnight.

Thinking Its Presence 2017 brings together the discipline and art of pedagogy and the arts in general with perspectives from critical race theory, poetics, performance studies, literary theory, literary history, ethnic literatures, and Native American and Indigenous studies. Our mission is to foster a dynamic exchange among creative writers, artists, performers, and scholars. 

The conference will take place in Tucson, Arizona, October 19-21, 2017.

Pre-registration fees (by August 15):
  • General registration: $60  
  • Student registration (non-University of Arizona; must show valid student ID): $30
  • University of Arizona student, staff, faculty, alumni: $15
Registration fees (on or after August 16):
  • General registration: $80
  • Participant registration (non-UA, non-student): $60
  • Student registration (non-University of Arizona; must have valid student ID): $50
  • University of Arizona student, staff, faculty, alumni: $20
  • Conference volunteer registration: $10 (please contact Hannah Ensor for more information:
For more information on the conference, including the call for proposals, the 2017 conference theme, keynotes, and more, please see
Literature of the Borderlands

Class Meetings: Six consecutive Tuesdays, August 29—October 3, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207.

During the Cold War, Carl Jung observed that it had become “a political and social duty” to perceive “the other as the very devil, so as to fascinate the outward eye and prevent it from looking at the individual life within.”

With our contemporary moment and its rhetoric focusing on travel bans and walls, migrants and refugees, there is perhaps no more important time for us to reflect upon what it means to each of us that we live in the U.S. borderlands.

Over the course of this six-week seminar, we will mostly read and discuss, with weekly chances to share written responses—be they imitations or reflections—to the course’s readings. The readings will be fiction and nonfiction texts that focus primarily on the U.S./Mexico borderlands, as well as some with a more global perspective. Authors include Juan Rulfo, Cristina Rivera Garza, Sara Uribe, Dino Buzzati, and J. M. Coetzee. 

This class is ideal for writers who would like to deepen their reading about the questions of this region; for readers who want to write and discuss their way through shared conversations; and for anyone who is looking to spend some time in these big subjects with the authors listed above.

Instructor bio: 

Francisco Cantú served as a border patrol agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012. He is a former Fulbright fellow and the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award. His essays and translations appear frequently in Guernica, and his work can also be found in The Best American Essays, Ploughshares, Orion, n+1 and This American Life. His debut memoir, The Line Becomes a River, will be published by Riverhead Books in February 2018.

Music As Source

Class Meetings: Saturdays 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, from 12:00 to 2:00pm, in the Poetry Center Alumni Room 205.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible in music.” 

- Aldous Huxley, Music at Night

Music As Source is a six-week exploration of what music means to each of us—what it inspires, reminds us of, provokes in us, expresses through or to us. Each session will include writing exercises of varying lengths, and we will experiment with many written forms and approaches. This is an open genre class, and students with all levels of experience with language and music are welcome.

Each class meeting is 90 minutes long, with 30 extra minutes for optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor and/or with your classmates at the end of each class meeting.


Instructor bio: 

Dan Kruse is a musical researcher and lecturer, a documentary filmmaker, and a teacher and facilitator. He holds a Master’s in Ethnomusicology from the UA’s Fred Fox School of Music. Dan’s Master’s Thesis is “Zoom!”, a documentary film chronicling the life of a small, independent record label in late 1950s Tucson; it was named “Best of Arizona” in the 2013 Arizona International Film Festival. Dan’s documentary works have also aired on Arizona Public Media’s “Arizona Illustrated” and “Arizona Spotlight”, and he served for six years as the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered”. He’s a popular lecturer on a variety of musical topics in the Tucson area, and finds the written and spoken word to be meaningful ways to access our deepest values and our relationship to music. 


Class Meetings: Eight consecutive Mondays, September 11-October 30, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207.

This eight-week workshop will be a place to examine the many decisions we make as writers. Each week, with the help of selected readings and prompts, we will explore the revision process, what drives our impulses in poems, how we make choices in our writing, and how to strengthen—or at least understand—each new draft. This course will focus on the fundamentals of poetry, including syntax, diction, lineation, image, address, and rhetorical devices, while also building upon the ability to revise our own work through creative strategies, hands-on revision, sharing, and exploring. 

Revisioning is open to writers of all levels who want to take a fresh look at previous work, learn strategies for revision, generate new work, to share and workshop with other students, to close read poems, and to expand on ideas of revision. 

Instructor bio: 

Laura Maher is the author of the chapbook, Sleep Water (Dancing Girl Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in Crazyhorse, Moonsick Magazine, The Collagist, New Ohio Review, and Third Coast. Her criticism has appeared or is forthcoming in Cutbank Online, The Bind, and the radio program Speedway and Swan with Brian Blanchfield. She is the recipient of awards from Vermont Studio Center and the Academy of American Poets.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona, a Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College. She lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. 

Rewriting Our Family Stories

Class Meetings: Mondays and Wednesdays, November 27—December 13, 6:00pm-8:00pm, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207.

We are all accumulations of the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we’ve been told. We inherit family histories in fragments, and while family members may agree on the elements of a story, we sometimes construct different meanings and personal narratives around them. In this course, we’ll explore what responsibility we as writers owe to established family narratives, and when (and how, and why) we should diverge from them. Over six weeks, we will generate and workshop our writing. We will read personal essays and memoir excerpts by writers who document, rewrite, and deconstruct their own family histories, such as Mary Karr, Cheryl Strayed, Jeannette Walls, Melissa Febos, Mason Stokes, and David Sedaris.

Instructor bio: 

Danielle Geller is a candidate in Creative Writing, Nonfiction at the University of Arizona. She is also the grateful recipient of a 2016 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award. Her work has appeared in Brevity and Silk Road Review, and she has an essay forthcoming in This is the Place (Seal Press, 2017). She is working on a collection of essays about her mother.