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.
Donald Hall reads from The Alligator Bride: Poems New and Selected (1969) and The Yellow Room (1971). He also reads poems that would be collected in The Town of Hill (1975) along with several that remain uncollected, including a series of surrealistic limericks.
Seamus Heaney reads from Death of a Naturalist (1966), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), and Sweeney Astray (1983). The reading also features Heaney's lively banter.
Maxine Kumin reads primarily from House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate (1976), along with selections from her earlier work.
Sharon Olds reads poems from her large body of work. This reading includes early versions of several poems that would go on to be collected in The Wellspring (1996).
In this reading, Silko engages in "what I really love to do"--storytelling in the Laguna tradition. Most of the stories and poems told here would be collected in the 1981 volume Storyteller.
James Tate reads from his first collection, The Lost Pilot (1967), along with poems that would be collected in The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970).
In this reading, Mona Van Duyn reads poems appearing in To See, to Take (1970); Letter From a Father and Other Poems (1982); and Selected Poems (2002).
Richard Wilbur reads poems that will be collected in The Mind Reader (1976) as well as poems from Walking to Sleep (1969). He also reads several translations from both volumes, of poems from the French by Voltaire and François Villon, and from the Russian by Andrei Voznesensky and Nikolai Moishen.
Marvin Bell reads primarily from A Probable Volume of Dreams (1969) and The Escape Into You (1971), along with work that would be collected in Residue of Song (1974), a book of poems published two years after this reading.
Bill Knott reads widely from his work. This reading includes poems from Becos (1983), Outremer (1989), and Poems 1963-1988 (1989), as well as work collected later.
Galway Kinnell reads primarily from his 1968 collection of poems Body Rags, which received a special mention from the National Book Award for Poetry in 1969. He begins by discussing and reading poems by Tu Fu, James Wright, Theodore Roethke, Robert Bly, and Walt Whitman.
George Hitchcock reads from his first four books: Poems & Prints (1962), Tactics of Survival (1964), The Dolphin with the Revolver in Its Teeth (1967), and A Ship of Bells (1968). He also reads work that will later be collected in The Rococo Eye (1970) and Lessons in Alchemy (1976). He opens the reading with a selection of found poems from the volume Pioneers of Modern Poetry (1967), which he crafted with Robert L. Peters.
Jon Anderson reads primarily from Looking for Jonathan (1968) and Death & Friends (1970), in addition to one poem from In Sepia (1974). The reading opens with a humorous description of Anderson's attempt to apply for a job writing copy for the Hallmark Greeting Card company.
Edward Field reads from a variety of his books, as well as a translation of Cavafy's poem "The Gods Desert Anthony." He ends the reading with poems from the (then unpublished) manuscripts of A Full Heart (1977) and Stars in My Eyes (1978).
C. K. Williams reads poetry primarily from I Am the Bitter Name (1972). He also reads several ribald pieces (that remain uncollected), showcasing his humor and imagination.
James Tate returns to read for the Poetry Center for the first time since 1968, performing poems from several books.
Ishmael Reed performs poems from his extensive body of work, including several unpublished poems. He remarks that his reading will "start out with a song and end with a song"--that is, with his poems "Betty's Ball Blues" and "I'm Running for the Office of Love" as set to music by Taj Mahal and Allen Toussaint.
Billy Collins reads widely from his body of work.
Patricia Smith reads widely from her work, including several uncollected poems.
This reading opens with Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading from his journal about stopping in Salome, Arizona on his way to perform for the Poetry Center. He reads primarily from A Coney Island of the Mind but also includes a performance of Walter Lowenfels's anti-war poem "Where is Vietnam."
Al Young reads poems from The Blues Don't Change (1982) and Heaven: Collected Poems 1956-1990 (1992), along with several prose selections.
Bill Roecker reads poems appearing in Willamette (1970), You Know Me (1972), and Closer to the Country (1976).
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.
Alan Dugan reads from his first four books of poems; he also reads unpublished poems and poems that would go on to appear in New and Collected Poems (1983).
David Ignatow reads widely from his work. This reading includes poems collected in Facing the Tree (1975) and Tread the Dark (1978), as well as uncollected poems and early drafts of poems that would go on to appear in collections such as Whisper to the Earth (1981) and Leaving the Door Open (1984).
Here, Hass reads from his collections Field Guide and Praise. He also reads poems that would later be published, under different titles, in his 1989 collection Human Wishes.
Juan Felipe Herrera performs his poetry and speaks movingly about song, language, and family in a reading given alongside Sherwin Bitsui for the 2009 Tucson Festival of Books. Herrera's Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, published by the University of Arizona Press, was announced as the winner of the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award just two days prior to this reading.
Leroy V. Quintana reads from The History of Home (1993), My Hair Turning Gray Among Strangers (1996), and The Great Whirl of Exile (1999).
In this dual-language performance, Francisco X. Alarcón reads from Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (1992) and Of Dark Love (1992). He also reads work and shares illustrations from five of his books of poetry for children. The poems in many of these books are presented in both Spanish and English. The reading closes with a selection of poems from an unpublished manuscript titled Life Song.
Billy Collins reads for the inaugural Tucson Festival of Books, including new poems that would be published two years later in Horoscopes for the Dead.
Dean Young reads poems appearing in Elegy on Toy Piano (2005).
John Frederick Nims reads from Knowledge of the Evening (1960) and Of Flesh and Bone (1967); he also reads translations of poems by St. John of the Cross and Catullus.
In celebration of the University of Arizona Poetry Center's 50th anniversary, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads his poems, including work from the forthcoming collection Horoscopes for the Dead. He is joined by David Fitzsimmons, Howard Altmann, Jennifer Lee Carrell, and Ernesto Portillo, Jr., reading favorite poems by a variety of authors.
Alberto Ríos reads from his work in English and Spanish as part of a multilingual poetry reading also featuring Ofelia Zepeda (reading in English and O'odham) and Sherwin Bitsui (reading in English and Navajo). The reading includes selections from Water, an artist book created by Karla Elling to commemorate the Poetry Center's 50th anniversary. Water features a chainlink of poetry composed and translated by Bitsui, Ríos, Zepeda, and Zapotec poet Natalia Toledo.
Poet and sculptor Nora Naranjo Morse, of Santa Clara Pueblo, reads from Mud Woman: Poems from the Clay (1992), including an expanded sung and spoken version of "Gia's Song."
In this reading, originally given with Ann Cummins, David Wojahn performs poetry from World Tree (2011). Also read is the unpublished poem "Sclera."
Ana Božičević reads work from Stars of the Night Commute (2009) as well as work that would go on to be collected in Rise in the Fall (2013). This reading was given alongside Kazim Ali as part of the Next Word in Poetry series.
Jason Bredle reads new work, including unpublished poems and poems published in periodicals. This Tucson Lit Press Fest reading with Bredle's fellow New Michigan Press author Emma Ramey focused on humor in poetry.
Emma Ramey, poetry editor of DIAGRAM, reads published and unpublished works. This Tucson Lit Press Fest reading with Jason Bredle focused on humor in poetry.
Philip Schultz reads poems from several books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection The God of Loneliness (2010). He closes the reading with his first public performance of several new poems.
Sherman Alexie reads widely from his work and engages the audience with stories characterized by his signature humor.
Michelle Tea reads from an unpublished work characterized by humor and eroticism.
Robert Pack reads widely from his work and comments on the stories behind many of his poems.
John T. Price reads from two memoirs: Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships (2008) and Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father (2013).
George Saunders reads a short story from In Persuasion Nation (2006) and an essay.
Nick Flynn reads widely from his work, interacting with the audience as he reads.
Lucille Clifton reads widely from her extensive body of work. This performance includes poems from her final collection, Voices (2008), as well as several uncollected and unpublished poems.
Marilyn Hacker reads from Squares and Courtyards (2000), Taking Notice (1980), and Going Back to the River (1990). She also reads two poems that would later be published in Desesperanto (2003). This reading was originally given with Aleida Rodríguez.
Aleida Rodríguez reads from Garden of Exile (1999). This reading was originally given with Marilyn Hacker.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa reads widely from her extensive body of work; this reading includes uncollected and unpublished poems.
Shannon Cain reads a story from her collection The Necessity of Certain Behaviors (2011) as part of the University of Arizona Prose Series. This reading was originally given with Lydia Millet.
Lydia Millet reads from her novel Magnificence (2012) as part of the University of Arizona Prose Series. This reading was originally given with Shannon Cain.
Miroslav Holub reads widely from his extensive body of work, reading some poems in both English and Czech.
Nikki Giovanni reads from her extensive body of work and speaks about social justice and the civil rights movement.
Peter Wild reads uncollected poems on a diverse range of subjects, from famous Western frontiersmen to radio therapy to optometrists. Along the way he shares with the audience experiences and preoccupations that have shaped his work.
Steve Orlen reads poems that would go on to appear in his collection The Elephant's Child: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2005 (2006), as well as earlier and unpublished poems.
In this reading, originally given with Beth Alvarado, Aurelie Sheehan shares excerpts from the novel History Lessons for Girls (2006), as well as a work in progress called One Hundred Histories.
Jimmy Santiago Baca reads poems and prose from his body of work, including A Glass of Water (2009), A Place to Stand (2002), Healing Earthquakes (2001), Martín & Meditations on the South Valley (1987), and C-Train (Dream Boy's Story) and Thirteen Mexicans: Poems (2002).
Special guest Logan Phillips performs his poetry for the Southern Arizona Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals Competition.
Francine Prose reads from her novel A Changed Man (2005).
Aurelie Sheehan reads a story from the collection Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant (1994), as well as two unpublished works.
Denise Chávez reads from her novel Loving Pedro Infante (2001). This reading was originally given with Loida Maritza Pérez.
Poetry Center Summer Resident Polly Rosenwaike reads an excerpt from the short story Grow Your Eyelashes. This reading was originally given with Samuel Ace and Dexter L. Booth.
Gerald Stern reads from This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), Last Blue (2000), and American Sonnets (2002).
Monica Youn reads poems from Ignatz (2010).
Dean Young reads from Embryoyo (2007) and Primitive Mentor (2008). This reading was originally given with Matt Hart.
Drum Hadley reads poems from Voice of the Borderlands (2005). This book release celebration features remarks from panelists Alan Weisman, Voice of the Borderlands illustrator Andrew Rush, and publisher Susan Lowell of Rio Nuevo Publishers.
Jenny Boully reads excerpts from of the mismatched teacups, of the single-serving spoon (2012) and not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them (2011), as well as new and uncollected work. This reading was given as part of the Hybrid Writing Series, co-sponsored by the UA Prose Series.
Jack Gilbert reads primarily from The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992 (1995) and Refusing Heaven (2005).
Aurelie Sheehan reads from Jewelry Box: A Collection of Histories (2013). This reading was originally given with Farid Matuk.
Lucy Corin reads from her short story collection, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (2013).
Arizona's inaugural poet laureate Alberto Ríos reads at the 9th Annual Poetry Out Loud Arizona State Finals Competition.
CAConrad reads poems from The Book of Frank (2009), A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (2012), and Translucent Salamander: A (Soma)tic Poetry Ritual and Resulting Poems (2013), along with new and uncollected work.
Craig Santos Perez engages the audience with several performance pieces incorporating poems from his book from unincorporated territory [guma'] (2014). This reading was originally given with Yona Harvey as part of the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading Series.
Gary Soto reads poetry and prose from Who Will Know Us (1990) and A Summer Life (1990), along with poems that would later be collected in Home Course in Religion (1991).
Matthea Harvey reads primarily from Sad Little Breathing Machine (2004). This reading was originally given with Olena Kalytiak Davis and James Thomas Stevens for the Next Word in Poetry Series.
John Ashbery reads poems that would later be collected in Hotel Lautréamont (1992), as well as an excerpt from Flow Chart (1991).
Three celebrated British poets read poems from throughout their careers.
Stephen Dunn and Dave Smith read from their poems.
Alan Feldman reads from his collection The Happy Genius (1978), as well as two new poems.
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).
James Tate reads poems from throughout his career. His world-famous sense of humor is on display in both his verse and his presence before the audience.
Monique Wittig and Sande Zeig read for the Writers At Work Series. Wittig and Zeig team to play the parts of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in a play written by Wittig and translated by Zeig, Le Voyage sans fin (The Constant Journey, 1985), based on Miguel de Cervantes's classic novel. Before performing the play, Wittig gives a brief talk explaining the role of transposition and gender roles in her adaption of Cervantes's work.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and novelist Maxine Kumin reads from her then-recent collection Nurture (1989), together with poems written throughout her career, as well as two poems that would go on to be collected in her next book, Looking for Luck (1992). Many of the poems consider connections between animals and humans. Kumin also reads a series of three elegies to her longtime friend Anne Sexton.
Luci Tapahonso reads from her collections Seasonal Woman (1982) and A Breeze Swept Through (1987), beginning with a piece that combines spoken poetry with song.
Poet and playwright Denise Chávez reads from her poems and short stories, and also performs some scenes from her stories, drawing from her work in the theater arts. She reads first from Descansos: An Interrupted Journey (a 1995 collaboration with Rudolfo A. Anaya and Juan Estevan Arellano, combining photography and creative writing), which explores the cultural and personal histories surrounding roadside crosses. She also reads from Face of an Angel (1994), a novel about a career waitress, exploring themes of divorce, race, and childbirth.
Bruce Dobler explains the relationship of his work to documentary fiction. He speaks of the necessity of journalistic fiction and the writer's task of capturing "the spirit and mood of a place and a time that would otherwise be inaccessible." Dobler reads from his novel, The Last Rush North (1976), exploring the construction of the Alaskan pipeline. Rather than picking a single chapter in the novel, Dobler reads an assortment of excerpts following one of the novel's many characters, a truck driver named Jill Jones. He closes with an excerpt following a character named Little Nasty, who gets into a fight with a much larger man.
Thomas Rogers reads from the manuscript of his novel At the Shores (1980). At the time of the reading, the novel was a work in progress with the title The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole.
Leonard Michaels reads from short stories written throughout his career, and concludes the reading with an excerpt from his novel The Men's Club (1981). His uncompromising realist sketches catch characters at their darkest and most vulnerable moments, and are colored with absurdist humor. Stories include those published in his collections Going Places (1969) and I Would Have Saved Them If I Could (1975).
Juan Felipe Herrera warmly engages the audience with work that would be collected in books such as Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of America (1997), Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler (2002), and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), as well as uncollected pieces. Standout performances include "Notes on Other Chicana and Chicano Inventions" and "Suicide in Hollywood / Lupe Velez (Circ. 1923) Serigrafía de una actriz Mexicana," read in Spanish and English. Opening his reading with an invocation to sky, earth, wind, and fire, Herrera encourages audience laughter and participation throughout the evening.
In this performance for the Writers at Work Series, Katherine Toy Miller and Vance Bourjaily read from their fiction. Katherine Toy Miller reads six short stories from a collection titled Eleanor, along with a short story titled "The Critical Session." Vance Bourjaily reads segments from a novel-in-progress called The Great Fake Book. Bourjaily ends his reading by performing a short solo on the cornet.
Phillip Lopate reads essays from Getting Personal (2003) and Portrait Inside My Head (2013), as well as one uncollected essay.
Srikanth Reddy reads from a manuscript in progress titled "Underworld Lit."
Poetry Center Summer Resident Vickie Vértiz reads new and uncollected poems. She also introduces Tucson Youth Poetry Slam champion Erik Loya-Tolano and local poet and performer Enrique García Naranjo, who each read one poem. This reading was originally given with Erin Stalcup.
Richard Shelton reads from his memoir Nobody Rich or Famous (2016). He also reads a related poem from Selected Poems, 1969-1981 (1982).
Rodrigo Toscano performs poems from Explosion Rocks Springfield (2016).
Lydia Millet reads from a forthcoming short story collection, Fight No More. This reading was originally given with Jenny Offill.
Jenny Offill reads from Dept. of Speculation (2014) as well as from a novel in progress, American Weather. This reading was originally given with Lydia Millet.
Elena Passarello reads essays from Animals Strike Curious Poses (2017). This reading was originally given with David Shields.
David Shields reads essays from Other People: Takes & Mistakes (2017). This reading was originally given with Elena Passarello.
Mary Ruefle reads poems that would be collected in Dunce (2019) as well as poems from My Private Property (2016) and works that remain uncollected. She also reads poems by W.S. Graham, Antipatros as translated by Kenneth Rexroth, and Annabel Laurance, as well as several humorous found texts, including an inscription from a poetry book found at Goodwill.
Joy Williams gives the first public reading of "Portion," a new short story.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil reads poems from At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), Lucky Fish (2011), and her forthcoming collection Oceanic (2018).
Patricia Spears Jones reads poems from across her career as published in A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (2015), along with uncollected work at the 2017 Thinking Its Presence conference. She also reads one poem from Stardust, landmines, and cartoons: Poems from 2006 to 2014 (2015).
Timothy Yu reads poems from 100 Chinese Silences (2016), along with new poems that rework John Berryman's The Dream Songs. This reading was originally given with Layli Long Soldier as part of the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading Series.
Sawako Nakayasu mixes her poetry and her translations, crafting a reading that she describes as a translation of the innovative form of her book Mouth: Eats Color (2011). She reads her own poems from The Ants (2014) and Some Girls Walk Into the Country They Are From (2020), a manuscript in progress that would be published two years after this reading. She also reads translations of poems by Japanese modernist Chika Sagawa from Mouth: Eats Color and Korean modernist Yi Sang, later published in Yi Sang: Selected Works (2020).
Ada Limón reads poems from Bright Dead Things (2015) and The Carrying (2018).
Charles Simic reads from New and Selected Poems, 1962-2012 (2013) and The Lunatic (2015).
Nicole Walker reads from her essay collection Sustainability: A Love Story (2018).
Natalie Shapero reads poems from Hard Child (2017) along with other uncollected poems.
Dean Young reads work from his collection Solar Perplexus (2019) as well as several uncollected poems.