SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2023 - 2:00PM TO 5:00PM and SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2023 -3:00PM TO 5:00PM in the Poetry Center's Rubel Room.

The Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 25 independent poetry organizations across the United States, will devote March through May 2023 to exploring the theme “and so much lost      you’d think / beauty had left a lesson: Poetry & Grief" in a series of virtual and in-person programs. 

The line “and so much lost      you’d think / beauty had left a lesson” is from Ed Roberson's poem "once the magnolia has blossomed." 

Poetry Coalition members aim to demonstrate how poetry can invite and inspire conversations in their communities about grief—an expansive and rich topic that has become imbued with deeper meaning over the last few years.


Poet Ed Roberson says, “and so much lost      you’d think / beauty had left a lesson” and Marie Howe says, “​​All art holds the knowledge that we're both living and dying at the same time.”  We are taking these lines as an invitation to attend to it all. Please join End of Life Doula and Zine artist, Amanda Meeks, and Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert, as we poetically explore grief and some of its other living companions: love, contemplation, silence, beauty, creation, and joy. The workshop will include a variety of arrangements and invitations to make and be made: generative writing prompts, full sensory and playful engagements, reading and reflection, and beginning the guided process of creating ephemeral arrangements and installations across Tucson.

Part 1/Workshop Description:

While free, please note that this is a two-day commitment. Part 1, the workshop, will be held from 2-5pm Sat and is capped at 25 participants. April 22, 2023. Part two, the public reading, will be from 3-5, Sat. May 6, 2023. Participants will have two weeks to create, complete, and document their arrangements and installations. Let’s live while we are dying and listen for the lessons of beauty everywhere.

Part 2/Reading Description: 

Participants from Arrangements: Poetic and Public Rituals of Grief and Joy were invited to play, write, reflect, and create ephemeral arrangements and installations across Tucson. Please join us in witnessing their arrangements at this community reading and display.


10:30AM - 2:30PM Saturdays, May 6, 13, and 20 in the Poetry Center's Alumni Room (Rm 205).

This three week poetry writing class delves into lyric forms, including epistolatory, lyric micro essay, erasure poetry, and ekphrastic poetry to address the Climate Crisis. The course, taught once a week for 4 hours, will include inclass and out of class generative writing prompts and time to work on these, reading assignments, inclass workshops of student writing and written feedback from the instructor. This is a class grounded in scientific reality and hope, not a doom and gloom class. We will look at solutions as well as pressing environmental problems. Writing lyric eco poetry develops writing and research skills. Participants choose environmental topics they are passionate about. They are taught various writing techniques, figurative language, line breaks, form, sound techniques, narrative, rhythmic and imagery arcs, etc. to make poems more compelling and memorable. The instructor provides literary models. Lyric writing about land, wilderness, animals, trees and ecosystems as well as how social issues such systemic racism are entangled in the degradation of ecosystems is important work. This writing intensive explore ways that writers have written about various ecological issues—from prejudice against endangered animals like bats, grizzly bears and wolves to environmental issues like urban sprawl, racism, homophobia, the relaxation of clean air and water laws to fracking to the acidfication of the oceans to carbon sequestration to creat-ing gardens to attract endangered butterflies and song birds. There are endless topics to write about and a plethora of texts and internet source materials. For some participants, this will be literary surgery that will help sort fact from fiction and from rumor as they research the topic of their choice. The goal of this writing inten-sive is to write powerful lyric eco/eco jusice poetry. The goal is also transformation and empowerment through creative self expression.

Some of the writers used for models as Natalie Diaz, Rita Dove, Camille Dungy, Martín Espada, Ana Flores, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Carolyn Forche, Kate Gale, Joy Harjo, Sean Hill, Linda Hogan, Patricia Spears Jones, Jacqueline Johnson, Rich-ard Jackson, Petra Kuppers, J. Drew Lanham, Ada Limón, Derrek Sheffield, Craig Santos Perez, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, C.D. Wright, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Please bring a writing journal, a good pen or a lap top for inclass writings.

University of Arizona Poetry Center