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University Of Arizona Poetry Center Will Share In $1M Grant From Mellon Foundation

Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 8:05pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 12:19pm
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University of Arizona
University of Arizona Poetry Center.

The University of Arizona Poetry Center has received part of a $1 million grant to promote the value of poetry.

It’s one of the largest investments in an art form that has doubled its readership in the last five years according to the 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.

The number of people who reported reading poetry in the survey was the highest on record in 15 years.

Tyler Meier, executive director of the U of A Poetry Center, chalked up that interest to organizations like the Poetry Coalition, a national alliance of more than 20 poetry groups.

Since 2016, member participants like the UA Poetry Center have developed themes to engage poetry enthusiasts.

“This year’s theme is poetry and democracy,” said Meier, “and it includes a tagline from Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.’ That line is, ‘What is it then between us?’ So, what is it then between us: poetry and democracy?”

Meier said the Poetry Center will carry out a series of programs for the university and Tucson communities connected to the theme.

The grant was awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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