Please note that registration for all Spring 2019 University of Arizona Poetry Center Classes and Workshops opens December 17th, 2018 at 11:00 AM. 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 Patri Hadad, the Events Program 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.

Please visit our Registration page to learn about cancellations and refund policies. 

Better Poetry Through Algebra: OULIPO & Unlimited Poetry

Class Meetings: Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, in the Poetry Center Conference Room 205. (With 1 hour lunch break) 

"By substituting formidably strict forms for Surrealism's controversial notion of 'total liberty', the OULIPO has created an amazingly beautiful and profound body of literature." - John Ashbery

What good is a game without rules? How ingenious would a jailbreak be without the cell that demanded such ingenuity to escape it?

The irony of freedom is that in liberating us it frees us from the joy of liberation--therefore, it is our mission as poets to self-impose constraints in order to challenge our understanding of and relationship with language. To facilitate this, we'll study the tricks, techniques, and formulas developed by OULIPO to encourage creativity by breaking our well-established poetic tics and tropes. We'll follow in the footsteps of notable OULIPIANS or OULIPO-inspired writers--Raymond Queneau's infinite sonnet, 100,000,000,000 Poems; Georges Perec's 300-page lipogram, A Void; Italo Calvino's Fibonacci-based labyrinth, Invisible Cities; and Harryette Mullen's propulsive N+7s of Shakespeare's sonnets and Walt Disney's America, Sleeping with the Dictionary--in crafting dynamic and linguistically-vigorous poems that will inspire our evolution as poets. In one weekend, through reading, writing exercises, and workshops, we'll bend, break, and bring back to life the English language to the betterment of your work.  

Instructor bio:  

Adam O. Davis is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America's 2016 George Bogin award. He has received grants and fellowships from The Bishop's School, Columbia University, Vermont Studio Center, and Western Michigan University, and his work has appeared in many journals, including The Believer, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and ZYZZYVA. His poetry manuscript, Index of Haunted Houses, has been a finalist for publication by Barrow Street Press, Cleveland State Press, Colorado State University's Center for Literary Publishing, New Issues Press, Sarabande Books, and Tupelo Press. He lives in San Diego, California, where he teaches English literature and composition at The Bishop's School.

Founded in 1994, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Summer Residency Program offers poets the opportunity to focus on their writing during a two-week stay in Tucson, Arizona. Residents are housed in the Poetry Center’s studio apartment, located just steps away the Center’s renowned library of contemporary poetry. Residents also receive a $500 stipend and give a public reading in the Poetry Center’s Reading and Lecture Series, ongoing since 1962. The residency is offered annually between June 1 and August 31 to be scheduled collaboratively with the Poetry Center.


Open to poets at any stage of their career. Emerging writers welcome. Friends, students, or family members of the judge are not eligible. Current University of Arizona affiliates and/or Tucson residents may not apply. At this time, the award is only open to US Residents.


Applications for our Summer 2019 residency will be accepted through March 1, 2019.

2019 Summer Residency Judge: Vickie Vértiz 

We are delighted to announce that our 2018 Summer Residency contest will be judged by Vickie Vértiz!  

A graduate of Williams College and the University of California, Riverside, Vickie Vértiz is a writer from southeast Los Angeles. Her work can be found in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among many publications. Her collection of poetry, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, was awarded the 2018 PEN America prize in poetry. She is a creative writing teacher who has given lectures and readings in France, Japan, Mexico City, and throughout the United States.

GUIDELINES (Please read):

Writers at any stage of their careers may apply;  emerging writers are welcome. This is a blind submission process. Close friends, students,  or family members of the judge are not eligible to apply. Current University of Arizona faculty,  staff, students, and Tucson residents are not eligible to receive the residency. Due to financial and university limitations, this award is only open to U.S. residents.

Paper submissions will not be accepted. 

Please make sure that the poems you  submit are exactly as you want them to appear. Revisions will not be accepted  while poems are under review.

The Poetry Center will contact finalists to receive their CV/Resumes, and contact information for three professional/personal references, before selecting a winner. 

To read a complete description of the Summer Residency package, as well as what to expect, please click here:

Note: by submitting to the UA Poetry Center's Summer Residency Contest, you agree to be subscribed to the Poetry Center's e-mailing list. You can opt out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe." Thank you!


  •   Work sample. No more than 10 pages of poetry. Please make sure your name and/or contact information is not included on the work sample or in the title of your submission. Your work will not be considered if your name appears on your sample.
  •   We only accept DOC, DOCX, PDF, and RTF files.

University of Arizona Poetry Center