Saturday, November 6th, 10am-1pm

Meeting will take place in Poetry Center Conference Room.  Limit 12 students. 

This workshop will focus briefly on the history, form, poetics, conventions, and manipulation of the sonnet form. Through readings and examinations of various examples, both historically and contemporary, participants will come to understand the development and adaptation of the sonnet and apply these elements of poetics in their own original drafts.

Saturday, September 25, 12pm-3pm

Meetings will take place in the Poetry Center Conference Room.  Limit 12 students. 

What keeps us engaged? What drives us down the page to the end of the poem? We will explore “speed” or “momentum,” by analyzing poems that keep our attention. But also, we will explore how as writers, we can be engaged with our surrounding world, to the point that we must do something about it. We will look at poems that have been a “call to arms” of sorts. To inspire our creativity, we will look at the current headlines to draw poetry from the media. This workshop will be half generative and half revision.

Saturdays, October 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 13 12:30pm-2:30pm

Meetings will be in the Poetry Center Alumni Room 205.  Course is limited to 12 students. 

English author Jane Austen once wrote “[People] themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.” The same can be said of a neighborhood setting. As we emerge from a year-long pandemic that had us sheltering in place, many of us have become appreciative of our home in Tucson. Whether you live in Barrio Hollywood, Cat Foothills, Pascua Yaqui Village, South Tucson or Thunderbird Heights, Tucson and its neighborhoods are ever evolving and thus, rich sources for writing.  In this 5-week class we’ll pay close attention to Tucson, it’s sounds, sights, tastes, textures, and scents. We will bring our current and past neighborhoods to life through a combination of generative writing prompts, readings and discussion. We’ll capture memories connecting us to the Old Pueblo and translate these experiences through poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Readings will include work by writers who have written about Tucson and its environs such as poets Ofelia Zepeda and Margaree Little. Nonfiction examples will include excerpts by Francisco Cantú, Lydia Otero, and Linda Ronstadt (yes, that Linda Ronstadt). Fiction will be sourced from Chicano pioneer Mario Suarez, Mark Jude Poirier and Stacey Richter. Our first day will include going beyond the classroom space, and touring Tucson through short walks in and around our creative neighborhood, the Poetry Center. When we’re not touring, we’ll read a variety of texts including literature, movie clips and music related to the Old Pueblo to engage our senses. Each week will focus on starting and finishing a first draft of a creative piece including a poem, an essay, a flash fiction piece and final revision of your choice. We’ll share our versions of Tucson with each other and in the process learn what the Pueblo Viejo means to each of us.

Saturdays: September 4, 11, 18, 25 and October 2, 9:30am-11:30am

Meetings will be Poetry Center Alumni Room 205; limit 12 students

This is designed to be a 5-week intensive course meeting on 5 consecutive Saturdays. Dialogue in short fiction is a thankless art: when it's done smoothly, it becomes so hypnotic that readers barely notice the craft. But when done wrong, it can derail the entire story. In this class, we will fine-tune the art of the conversation in fiction. We will discuss how to make dialogue sound natural, how to invest a conversation with stakes, how to make two characters talking as compelling a thing to read as any explosion or car chase.

Welcome to the 2022 Poetry Out Loud Registration Portal! 

Poetry Out Loud 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. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, 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. Once registered, each participating teacher/school receives free multimedia curriculum materials – a poetry anthology, audio guide, teachers’ guide, posters and comprehensive website ( 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.

Special consideration for the 2022 season:

  • Regional and state events will be held as virtual offerings, hosted online with students participating from their home or classroom. 
  •  National Finals are planned to be held April 25-27th in Washington, DC. More information will be announced sooner to the competition.
  •  Additionally, our amazing regional partners will offer coaching online for small groups and individual students and work closely with teachers to help them navigate this new approach to the competition.

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 

University of Arizona Poetry Center