Poetry Center Hosts Cyclovia Activity Hub

April 3rd, 2019

The popular Cyclovia Tucson will pass through the UA campus on Sunday, April 7, and in celebration of National Poetry Month, the UA Poetry Center aims to get all 40,000 expected attendees to interact with a poem in some way. 

Cyclovia, a program of Living Streets Alliance, is a biannual event that temporarily transforms a network of streets ─ the largest source of public space ─ into a linear park by removing cars and inviting thousands of people to explore the city on foot, bicycle, in strollers or wheelchairs.

This edition of Cyclovia begins at Banner – University Medical Center, passes by the UA Poetry Center and continues west and south to downtown Tucson. With an $8,000 grant from Arizona Humanities, Living Streets Alliance is adding the literary component for the first time.

Activities will include live poetry readings, audio recordings of poetry in different languages, poetry stations where poets can work alongside members of the public to create poetry, live screen-printing of poems onto ready-to-wear clothing, chalked poetry, and printed poems distributed by Poetry Center docents.

“We’re excited to share the experience of poetry with such a large and engaged community audience,” said Tyler Meier, Executive Director of the UA Poetry Center. “Surveys show poetry reading is on the rise, especially among younger people, and we want people to explore the rich resources here at the Poetry Center and join us again at future readings and events.”

The Poetry Center Library will have an open house throughout the event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids activities will be centered in the Rubel Room, with vintage typewriters, a quiet corner for reading time and a writing station that will explore poet Nikki Giovanni’s line “Bicycles: because love requires trust and balance.” Participants will explore why they love bicycles, with a chance to used their writing to decorate the spokes of their bike. 

The Hillman Odeum will host activities throughout the day:

  • 9 a.m. Carnegia 
  • 10 a.m. Stories that Soar
  • 11 p.m. Barbara Peabody and Whitney Vale
  • Noon Rashaad Thomas & Phoenix poets
  • 1 p.m. Kore Press
  • 2 p.m. Tucson Poet Laureate and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Other activities include:

The Hall of Giants: Tour the roadways immediately adjacent to the Poetry Center to discover 10 poets and one of their poems, each with a history connected to Tucson and the Poetry Center. 

The Emily Dickinson photobooth and gingerbread tasting: Enjoy the Emily Dickinson photobooth and a chance to sample her gingerbread recipe at 11 a.m. (while supplies last).

Silkscreen print your own poems with CREAM printing!: Come print a poem by TC Tolbert, Tucson’s Poet Laureate, or Tucson poet Ofelia Zepeda at the silkscreen station. Or make your own poem from pre-selected heat-transfer words and print them on a T-shirt. Free T-shirts while supplies last, or bring your own favorite shirt or bag and enjoy a custom printed shirt.

Letterpress printing stations: Explore letterpress printing with the Jack Sinclair Letterpress Studio from the University of Arizona School of Art, with demonstrations on three presses.

Write your own Bike-ku: bicycle-themed haiku at a creation station along the Cyclovia route.