Browse Exhibits (9 total)

Little Magazines

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"Little magazines" are vital lifelines for readers and writers of poetry: these indie literary journals publish new voices, allow editors to develop and champion their aesthetic vision, and supply a steady stream of new work to interested readers. The production of little magazines exploded in the mimeo revolution of the mid-twentieth century, as many Beats and New York School poets turned to DIY publication in the face of literary gatekeeping and occasional outright censorship. The kitchen-table magazines of this era were historically important but physically fragile: frequently bound only with staples, most were made to circulate quickly, and few have survived the ensuing decades intact. The Poetry Center has collected little magazines throughout our 60-year history with an eye toward preserving these ephemeral productions for future research. Here we present a sampling of infrequently seen little magazines from our collections. 

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On the Other Hand: Poets and the Practice of Drawing


Works by Sommer Browning, Renee Gladman, Tim Johnson, Kit Schluter, Brandon Shimoda, giovanni singleton, and Lynn Xu, curated by Joshua Edwards

Thoreau wrote, “The art of life, of a poet’s life, is, not having anything to do, to do something.” This might mean at times turning the line away from letters and toward images, as each of the poets represented in On the Other Hand have done. These seven artists—through drawings, sketches, scores, doodles, cartoons, contours, calligrams, and other mark-making—give shape to visions and concerns in ways that show the brilliance of the creative spirit finding its forms.

A selection of poems by each artist/writer can be found on the final page of this exhibit. Joshua Edwards writes about curating the exhibit on 1508, the Poetry Center's blog, where Brandon Shimoda also writes about drawing and dreaming.

The physical exhibition was originally displayed at the Poetry Center, January to March 2022.


Inflection Points


As we emerge from this time of crisis, how might the field of literary translation chart new trajectories and imagine new narratives of possibility? In this digital exhibit presented in collaboration with the American Literary Translators Association, four translators of poetry—Kareem James Abu-Zeid (Arabic, French, German), Alex Braslavsky (Polish, Russian), Jein Han (Korean), and Farid Matuk (Spanish)— explore how poems can prompt shifts in perception when “retold” in another language, as seen in poetry in translation pulled from the Poetry Center’s library and archival collections.


Angel Hair

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Angel Hair Books was the brainchild of poets Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, who started the imprint in New York City in the spring of 1966 (when they were both just 20 years old). Angel Hair books and the Angel Hair magazine bear a visible kinship with the great mimeo revolution of the mid-twentieth century: the press’s earliest work was produced on a shoestring budget, animated by the vibrancy of the poetry and illustrations. Waldman and Warsh would go on to become iconic figures of American poetry in their own right, and the books and magazines they published through Angel Hair chart important movements in mid-century and New York School poetry. Between 1966 and 1978, Angel Hair published important works by Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, Clark Coolidge, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler, along with early work by Warsh and Waldman.

The Poetry Center acquired a complete collection of Angel Hair publications in 2020. In this exhibition, we present a selection of works from this astonishing collection, including chapbooks, broadsides, and archival ephemera.

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Book Objects


A box of paper gems. A printed silk scarf. A deck of cards. A felted sphere filled with paper seeds. Can these objects be books? The poets, book artists, and publishers represented in this virtual exhibition offer a resounding yes, asking viewers to interact with books in ways that break from the expected. Dive into the works presented here for a detailed look at items from the Poetry Center’s collection that will lead you to rethink just what the word “book” can mean.


Poems of Love and Compassion

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Amongst Poetry Center patrons, one of the most sought-after types of poem is the love poem. Love poems have an endless number of purposes, whether read as a toast at a wedding; tucked inside a love note to a partner, your future self, or a friend; or shared as a gesture of hope. This online exhibition presents poems of love and compassion in a gesture of hope for the new year. Here you will find poems, books, and broadsides that offer both a large-scale view of humanity's interconnectedness and a glimpse into life’s most intimate moments. Please enjoy.

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60 Books for 60 Years


The Poetry Center celebrates its 60th anniversary in November 2020. In recognition of this milestone, the Library staff have worked for a year to acquire 60 new and new-to-us rare books for the collection with funding from our newly completed Rare Books Endowment. The books we have collected for our 60th anniversary strengthen our holdings in several key areas, including artist’s books, rare books by celebrated poets, and books by poets working in the American Southwest. From Robert Frost’s Christmas cards to DIY broadsides to monumental artist’s books, these new acquisitions represent the exciting breadth and range of American poetry in the past 60 years. We are delighted to showcase these works here: we'll present this exhibition on a rolling basis, with 20 new works added to this website each month. Thank you for joining us online to celebrate our 60th anniversary!

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Making Space for Books: Mobile Shelving in the Archives

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In 2019, the Poetry Center received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to install high-density mobile shelving in our Archives Room. The new shelving system created shelf space for the next 10-20 years of book purchasing, based on current acquisition rates, placing the Poetry Center in the strongest possible position to preserve our unique collections for the future. This exhibit presents photographs and details from the installation process in a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing work of the Poetry Center Library. 

The Poetry Center thanks the University of Arizona Libraries and the National Endowment for the Humanities for support and partnerships that made this project possible. 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this web exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 


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"Opening Ourselves Like a Book": Contemporary Poetry of the Abrahamic Religions


Originally presented in conjunction with Laurie Wohl’s Birds of Longing: Exile and Memory, this exhibit presents a small selection of contemporary poems and books by writers who identify with or in some way write directly about Judaism, Christianity, or Islam—the Abrahamic religions, which share common ancestry despite varying beliefs. Common themes recur: prayer, longing, comingled doubt and faith, family, traditions kept, traditions lost, and traditions adapted. "We pray best by opening ourselves like a book," writes Kazim Ali, and the writers presented here follow this suggestion, laying open themselves, their faith and struggles, and their shared and divergent histories. 

The physical exhibition was originally displayed at the Poetry Center in spring 2020.

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