Wednesday, October 18th, 5:00PM - 7:00PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

Why shouldn’t our writing explore on its own terms what it means to make meaning? Why shouldn’t it surpass predetermined ideas of what meaningfulness looks and sounds like and reach out beyond the all-too-familiar, letting itself encompass elements of nonsense, irrationality, confusion, and even error in its field of possibilities, the way life itself does, whether we like it or not? Designed to enliven and inspire, this class will survey an array of artistic practices—ranging from traditional poetic devices such as metaphor to experimental modes of composition—that strain against the confines of standardized language use and seek to defy workaday reasoning. In addition to appreciating the various aesthetic motives (and pleasures) of subverting common sense, we will also consider the politics of writing as, in the words of Fred Moten, “a constant disruption of the means of semantic production.” Participants will work on two exercises during class (and one before we meet) and they will also be sent in advance a reader for the class that includes poetry and prose by Lewis Carol, Leonora Carrington, e. e. cummings, Paul Éluard, Lynn Hejinian, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edward Lear, Fererico García Lorca, Tracie Morris, Harryette Mullen, Sylvia Plath, Arthur Rimbaud, Kurt Schwitters, Gertrude Stein, and others


Saturday, October 28, 9:30AM - 12:30PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

Class will be followed by lunch catered by Tumerico, with guest from environmental community organization. Registration will open soon.

Human bodies are largely comprised of water, as is the planet. In the climate crisis, reports of aquatic catastrophes from droughts to floods increasingly swirl. Yet more than dying, water is life-giving, quencher of thirst, nutrient of seeds and soil, aquifer and river, wave and tide. In this writing workshop, we reimagine the liquid presence of water in our words—poetry, nonfiction, fiction, between & beyond—rippling between lines and sentences, paragraphs and poetics of place, even pulsing under our skins. 

This generative workshop inaugurates a seasonal series of workshops at the University of Arizona Poetry Center around natural elements to bridge ecologies. The series is a sister effort to immersive short courses on Literary Ecologies taught by Gretchen at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Virginia. Participants can take one workshop by itself, or grow a practice of relational ecologies between places over time. 


Wednesday, November 1, 5:00PM - 7:00PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

In short, this is an opportunity to experiment and play (pun intended). In this workshop, we’ll think about the ways that different poets have used verse plays as part of their artistic output, and the cool effects that a flashy, razor-sharp poetic drama can muster. Together, we’ll read aloud classic and contemporary examples of this form, using both as bioenergy and possibility for our own creations. We’ll discuss concepts, such as “cross-genre travel” and “embracing the strange,” in addition to using prompts, writing time, and read-alouds so that each of us leaves this space with our very own “ecstatic miniature.”


Saturday, November 4, 11:00AM - 1:00PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

This workshop will invite students to consider the physical nature of poems--that is, how does a poem's mood, attitude, and intelligence spring from its shape? In considering this, we'll consider everything that makes a poem a poem--words, punctuation, linebreaks, stanzas, spacing--and explore the body (that is, the poem) they combine to create. After considering examples from established poets, we'll then get experimental by considering the different vessels we might pour our existing work into as we play with how our poems' functions can be altered by their forms. Bring a few poems of your own and a laptop.


Wednesday, November 15, 5:00PM - 7:00PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

In this class, we shall read Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and various long-line poems inspired by the great master. From the sacred to the profane, from the beautiful to the enchanting, Whitman’s poetic descendants include Allen Ginsberg, Margaret Walker, June Jordan, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Marilyn Chin, you name them—he has been an important muse for a wide range of poets! The “Whitmanesque” long-line ecstatic form is personal, political, spiritual, and universal and has inspired many generations. Let’s praise Uncle Walt by reading his work out loud and by adding to the excitement with our own “barbaric yawps” and verses. Yes, we shall end the class with a free-write session.


Wednesday, December 6, 5:00PM - 7:00PM in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room.

Since long before Julia Kristeva coined the term “intertextuality,” poets across the globe have been in dialogue and interdependent relationship, shaping their poems and poetics in response to those of others. Whether homage, critique, or anything between, an intertext poses interpretative questions with profound political implications:Why choose to be in conversation with this poet? With this poem? In this form? To what end? And how to foreground that conversation, or signal it at all?How do these choices position us aesthetically, socially, and historically?In this class, we will consider these questions by reading a selection of intertexts, written by poets across time and space—from Basho to Darwish, Shakespeare to Lucille Clifton, and Sappho to Arthur Sze—and drafting an intertext of our own at the end of class. 

Welcome to the 2024 Poetry Out Loud Registration Portal!

  Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national arts education program and recitation contest. It seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry: recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music among youth. POL invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the classroom. Through POL, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

  Teachers who would like to participate register themselves for the program – one registration per school or organization. Once registered, each participating teacher/school is supported with coaching opportunities from experienced coaches and with free classroom materials – a poetry anthology, teachers’ guide, lesson plans, poetry books and access to a comprehensive website (www.poetryoutloud.org) all aligned to national standards – augmenting their regular poetry curriculum with poetry recitation and a classroom-level competition. School-level recitation champions compete to advance to the regional, state and then national levels (students must compete at each level of competition to advance to the next stage of the contest).

   Special considerations for the 2024 season:

  • Regional and state events are planned to be held as in-person offerings. More information will be announced following the registration period. 
  •  National Finals are planned to be held April 30-May 2, 2024 in Washington, DC. More information will be announced sooner to the competition.
  •  Arizona's amazing regional partners will offer coaching online or in-person for small groups and individual students and work closely with teachers to help them navigate this new approach to the competition.
  • A box of books, with titles curated by the Poetry Center's Senior Library Specialist, will be mailed in March 2024 to teachers/schools who actively participate in Arizona's Poetry Out Loud program. 

To complete your registration, please fill out the form below. If you have any questions, please contact Arizona's Poetry Out Loud State Coordinator, Gema Ornelas, at gornelas@email.arizona.edu. 

University of Arizona Poetry Center