Lucille Clifton reads poems on many subjects, including family and illness, as well as a series of Rastafarian-inspired poems about the life of the Biblical figure Mary. In addition to poems, Clifton reads excerpts from Generations: A Memoir and her children's book Sonora Beautiful.
In this performance, Lucille Clifton reads primarily from Next: New Poems and begins the performance with an excerpt from her children's book Sonora Beautiful. Clifton remarks that this is her first public reading of the poem series "Ten Oxherding Pictures."
Bhanu Kapil reads selections from Humanimal: A Project for Future Children, released by Kelsey Street Press the year following Kapil's Next Word reading. This reading was originally given with Mónica de la Torre and Ben Lerner.
Anne Waldman discusses and reads from two recent projects, Manatee/Humanity and the Chax Press chapbook Matriot Acts. This reading was given alongside Laynie Browne for the 2010 Tucson Festival of Books.
In this reading, Rigoberto González performs poetry and nonfiction; the reading concludes with a question and answer section with Maria Melendez.
In the first reading of the Poetry Center's 50th anniversary year, former Poetry Center Director and University of Arizona Regents' Professor Emeritus Richard Shelton reads from his books The Last Person to Hear Your Voice (2007) and Crossing the Yard (2007).
Kazim Ali reads work in several genres, including excerpts from Orange Alert, a collection of essays; The Disappearance of Seth, a novel; and Bright Felon, a memoir; as well as published and new poems. He ends by performing a poem, "Queer Ishmael," composed on the spot. This reading was given alongside Ana Bozicevic as part of the Next Word in Poetry series.
TC Tolbert reads from his recent Kore Press publication Territories of Folding, accompanied by members of the movement improvisation group Movement Salon.
At the 2012 Poetry Off the Page Symposium, Black Took Collective presents a multimedia performance exploring interrogations of a Black unconscious, using written and aural language, sound, video, and image.
John Harmon McElroy reads work from several major American authors. He opens with a brief passage from John Dos Passos's USA Trilogy (1930-1936), and reads from works including Washington Irving's The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon (1819), Henry James's The American (1877), Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854), Herman Melville's Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855), Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850), Walt Whitman's Specimen Days (1892), several poems by Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
Boyer Rickel reads poetry from his first book, Arreboles (1991), touching on family and childhood memories, experiences living in Tucson, and musicians and writers of previous centuries. He also reads an essay that would go on to be published in Taboo (1999), which he introduces by discussing his approach to writing essays that follow the form of poems, not returning to a main idea but moving through it.
Peter Matthiessen reads from his works of nonfiction The Snow Leopard (1978) and Indian Country (1984), along with a hallucination scene from his novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965).
John A. Williams reads poems from an early manuscript that would eventually come to form his collection Safari West (1998). He then reads from his novel !Click Song (1982), investigating issues of race, colonialism, and diaspora. Both books are winners of the American Book Award.