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Robert C.S. Downs gives his first public reading before joining the University of Arizona creative writing faculty for the fall semester. He reads from his first two novels, Going Gently (1973) and Peoples (1974), which was unpublished at the time of the reading.
Paul Zimmer reads from The Republic of Many Voices (1969), along with poems that would be published in The Zimmer Poems (1976) or remain uncollected. Making use of persona, narrative, and humor, he addresses topics such as childhood, identity, and mortality.
In his first visit to Tucson, Franz Wright reads prose pieces, most of which were unpublished at the time of his reading, as well as several lineated poems. He comments generously on his writing process and friendships with other poets.
Luis Alberto Urrea reads from Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border (1993), The Fever of Being (1994), Wandering Time: Western Notebooks (1999), and also from The Best American Poetry (1996).
Linda Gregg reads primarily from Too Bright to See (1981).
Tommy Pico reads from his book-length poems Junk (2018), published the year of this reading, and Feed (2019), published the year after this reading. He also reads one poem from Morgan Parker's There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (2017). This reading was originally given with Morgan Parker as part of the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading Series.
Shayla Lawz reads from her book speculation, n. (2021), which revolves around survival and Black life amidst police violence within the age of social media and the 24/7 news cycle. Lawz creates a unique performed version of her book through repetition and distortions not present on the page. This reading was originally given alongside Aria Aber as part of the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading Series.
Nicole Sealey reads from her first full-length collection, Ordinary Beast (2017), sharing poems that approach the embodied experience of mortality and the violence-haunted reality of being a Black woman in contemporary America. Her selections include an ekphrastic poem and a true cento, composed of one hundred lines collected from other poets.
Jane Hirshfield reads from her ninth collection of poems, Ledger (2020), which meditates on the cascading effects of climate change and the griefs of contemporary human life. In recognition of National Poetry Month, she opens with "The Poet" from The Lives of the Heart (1997) and selections from The Ink Dark Moon (1988), her translations of Classical Period Japanese poets Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. She closes with uncollected new work.