University of Arizona Poetry Center

students outside the poetry center

The University of Arizona Poetry Center is at the heart of Tucson’s vibrant literary culture

The Poetry Center is a leading literary institution and a living archive of poetry. Since 1960, we've grown into the largest standalone special collection of poetry in the nation.

Now featuring more than 80,000 items, our collection represents a spectrum of poetry that inspires us, improves us and continues to record the diverse tapestry of our lives and our moment. When you visit the Poetry Center, you are in a space unlike any other: more than 5 million poems surround you on the shelves. It's an experience we love sharing with visitors and students that distinguishes the University of Arizona from peer institutions.

Thanks to supporters like you, we have amassed one of the finest and largest print/digital collections of contemporary poetry in America. Philanthropic support also empowers our education programs that annually serve Arizona school children, college students, and adults with poetry experiences, annually reaching more than 20,000 Arizona K-12 students through 7 distinct programs.



“Through our programs, collections and collaborations, the Poetry Center advances a diverse and robust literary culture that serves a local-to-global spectrum of writers, readers, and new audiences for poetry and the literary arts. Gifts of any shape and size make a difference in the future of the University of Arizona Poetry Center.”

– Director Tyler Meier

A photograph of poet Terrance Hayes at a reading series event

The Poetry Center's diverse and robust range of community programs position it as a national leader in the field. Annually, the Center reaches in-person and digital audiences of more than 500,000 people, while also working to document and preserve diverse expressions of the art form for future generations.  


General Support

Your gift will support a range of Poetry Center programs each year—from our historic Reading Series to essential K-12 outreach programs. 

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Colleen Burns Program Development Endowment

Your support will ensure the long-term legacy of the Poetry Center and the continued success of its programs. 

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Rare Book and Special Acquisition Endowment

Provide the resources the Poetry Center needs to support the acquisition, preservation, and presentation of the most exciting holdings in the collection. 

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Poetry Center Building Fund

Gifts to our building fund ensure that the Poetry Center will have the resources to care for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the Helen S. Schaefer building and grounds.

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Learn more about the University of Arizona Poetry Center