Please note that registration for all Spring 2018 University of Arizona Poetry Center Classes and Workshops opens December 13, 2017 at 9:00am. 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.

Creativity Lab: Generating Writing through Sensory Engagement

Class Meetings: Saturday, March 17, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, in the Poetry Center Alumni Room 205.

In this daylong generative workshop, we will form a creativity lab, engaging with our senses as an entry point to writing original work. Through listening to music and soundscapes, playing with tactile textures, and engaging with visual art, we will channel our bodily, psychic, and emotional responses onto the page. This course will move with a spirit of curiosity and play, and create a supportive space for brave and judgment-free experimentation with language. Most of our time together will be spent playing and generating, though we will close our day with discussion and sharing.

Instructor bio: 

Lisa M. O'Neill is a writer, educator, singer/songwriter, and creative usher committed to social justice and moving through the world with authenticity and compassion. Originally from New Orleans, she has lived in Tucson for a decade where she writes into issues of social justice, sustainability, politics, and pop culture through essays, journalistic articles, think pieces, and hybrid forms. Lisa received her MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Arizona, where she taught writing in the English Department for a decade and was honored with the Lecturer of the Year award. She designs and teaches intimate online and in-person workshops on such themes as witness, place, and mindful writing, and she works with writers individually to help them discover their stories and clarify their voices. Lisa designs and teaches writing workshops with highschoolers who will be first-generation college students and with incarcerated students at juvenile detention, adult detention, and the Arizona State Prison. Lisa hosts, co-curates, and performs at the quarterly musical event The Old Pueblo Opry, which celebrates American folk, country, and roots music. She is a regular contributor to Edible Baja Arizona and received first place in Community Food and Beverage Reporting from the Arizona Press Club for 2015. Her July 2017 piece for Bitch Media was featured in the The New York Times "What We're Reading" list and her writing has also been published in Bustle, defunct, Diagram, drunken boat, Everyday Feminism, GOOD, Good Housekeeping, Salon, and The Feminist Wire. She is the founder of literary blog The Dictionary Project and is currently writing a book on sound and silence.

Ends on March 2, 2018

The UA Student Broadside Contest is administered by the School of Art Book Art and Letterpress Lab. Due to financial restrictions, only full-time UA students are eligible to receive prize money for these contests, but community members in good standing with the UA Letterpress Lab are welcome to submit and are eligible to win with no prize money component.

Five winners of the Broadside Contest will be paired with winners of its parallel contest, UA Student Poetry Contests, to create a limited-edition broadside reproducing an excerpt or the entirety of one of the poetry winners’ poems. Upon completing this collaboration, student winners will be awarded $100 each.

Submission guidelines:

  • To be eligible, artists must have letterpress printing experience with the School of Art Book Art and Letterpress Lab.
  • Please submit three images for consideration.
  • Your submission of images can represent a sample of your previous two-dimensional artistic work and range. At least one image must be of work with letterpress edition printing.
  • Submissions must be formatted as JPGs or PDFs and must not include the artist’s name.
  • All three images should be uploaded together as one single submission.
  • Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018 by midnight MST.




Ends on March 12, 2018$15.00

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 2018 residency will be accepted through March 12, 2018.

2018 Summer Residency Judge: Ocean Vuong 

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

Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which was a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and finalist for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Vuong has received honors from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he immigrated to the US at the age of two as a child refugee. He lives Western Massachusetts and teaches at UMass Amherst's MFA for Poets & Writers program.

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/or 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.

Ends in 6 hours, 33 minutes

LaVerne Harrell Clark Fiction Award

This award has been established in the memory of LaVerne Harrell Clark, noted author and photographer, and first director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center. The fiction contest is open to all graduate students in the creative writing or English department at the University of Arizona. $1,000 will be awarded for an outstanding work of fiction.

Judge: Hilary Plum

Hilary Plum is the author of the novel Strawberry Fields, winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose (2018); the work of nonfiction Watchfires (2016); and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (2013). She has worked for a number of years as an editor of international literature, history, and politics. She teaches creative writing at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program, and serves as associate director of the CSU Poetry Center, where she organizes the Lighthouse Reading Series. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press. Recent fiction, essays, poetry, and criticism have appeared in Bookforum, Full Stop, Consequence, Poetry Northwest, the Mississippi Review, the Seneca Review, Big Big Wednesday, and elsewhere. 

Deadline: Friday, February 2, 2018 by midnight AST

Guidelines for the LaVerne Harrell Clark Contest:

Please make sure the poems you submit are exactly as you want them. Revisions will not be accepted while your work is under review. Winners will be allowed to revise once the work has been accepted.

Submissions should include:

Submit a typed manuscript of up to 20 pages of fiction (ex: short story, novel excerpt).
  • The manuscript should be included in one document.
  • We only accept DOC, DOCX, PDF, and RTF files.
  • Name should not appear on work.
  • We do not accept previously published work.

Winning prize money will be posted to students' Bursar's Account. Students are asked to please clear up any charges on their Bursar's account to ensure that they receive their full award. For more information about the UA Student Contests, please email Becka Ranta at, or call (520) 626-4285.