Tom Sanders Memorial Reading: Peggy Shumaker & Maurya Simon

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 7:00pm
University of Arizona Poetry Center

The Tom Sanders Memorial Reading is an annual presentation in the Poetry Center's Reading and Lecture series. Established by the generosity of Tom's friends in 2017, this event features writers who were former students at the University of Arizona, writers who were formerly or currently members of the University of Arizona faculty, or University of Arizona Press authors. 

This year, we are proud to present Peggy Shumaker and Maurya Simon, who will read from their work. After the reading, there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

Peggy Shumaker is the daughter of two deserts—the Sonoran desert where she grew up and the subarctic desert of interior Alaska where she lives now. Shumaker was honored by the Rasmuson Foundation as its Distinguished Artist. She served as Alaska State Writer Laureate. She received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Shumaker is the author of eight books of poetry, including Cairn, her new and selected volume. Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally. Professor Emerita from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Shumaker teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA at PLU. She serves on the Advisory Board for Storyknife, and on the board of the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. Shumaker is editor of the Boreal Books series (an imprint of Red Hen Press), editor of the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press, poetry editor of Persimmon Tree, and contributing editor for Alaska Quarterly Review. Please visit her website at

Maurya Simon has published ten volumes of poetry, including The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016, nominated in 2018 for Pulitzer Prize, and her novel-in-verse, The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula. Her sixth volume, Ghost Orchid, was a 2004 National Book Award nominee. Simon has received an NEA in Poetry and awards from the Poetry Society of America and the Academy of American Poets. She has served multiple residencies at the American Academy in Rome and at The MacDowell Colony. Simon’s work has been translated into Farsi, Spanish, and French. She taught literature and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside for nearly thirty years and now serves as a Professor of the Graduate Division and Professor Emerita. Maurya Simon divides her time in California between San Clemente and Mt. Baldy, which is located in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains.