The University of Arizona Poetry Center was founded in 1960 “to maintain and cherish the spirit of poetry.” The center is an internationally renowned poetry library with over 80,000 items (50,000+ are books). When you walk inside, you’ll find a cozy and artistic space with comfortable seating, natural lighting, wooden beams, and rows + rows of poetry books.
The Poetry Center hosts numerous University and community programs throughout the year – including readings and lectures, classes and workshops, field trips, and discussion groups.
Where is the UA Poetry Center located?
The UA Poetry Center is located in mid-town Tucson in the University of Arizona complex. The address is 1508 E. Helen Street.
What are the hours?
The Poetry Center is open weekdays and Saturdays during the school year; Monday-Friday during the summer months. See the UA Poetry website for complete hours and upcoming closures.
Why would I visit the UA Poetry Center?
- To attend a reading or lecture
- To take a class or workshop
- To go on a field trip with your school
- To participate in Kids Create activities
- To be a part of the book club
- To see a performance in the outdoor amphitheater
- To sit quietly and read a book
How much does it cost?
What is the parking situation?
Free parking is available in the Zone 1 parking lots on the weekends and after 5:00pm on weekdays. Paid parking is available in the Highland Avenue Garage ($2/hr or $8/day), across the street from the Poetry Center.
What should I bring with me?
A bottle of water, a journal or sketchbook, a pen or pencil, your imagination.
Are bathrooms available?
Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?
No food is allowed inside the center. There are benches outside the building.
Does the UA Poetry Center have a restaurant or cafe?
No, but there are a number of excellent restaurants in the vicinity. See below.
What restaurants are located NEAR the UA Poetry Center?
There are a plethora of outstanding dining options in the area! Our top picks within 3 miles are:
- Greek House, 1710 E. Speedway Blvd (0.3 miles away) – gyros, burgers, platters
- The Fix Mac N Chz, 943 E. University Blvd (0.8 miles away) – mac & cheese options and inspired dishes
- Blue Willow Restaurant, 2616 N. Campbell Ave (1.5 miles away) – breakfast, lunch, dinner, year round patio dining
- Lerua’s Fine Mexican Food, 2005 E. Broadway Blvd (1.5 miles away) – tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, tamales, chimichangas, burros
- Sauce Pizza & Wine, 2990 N. Campbell (1.9 miles away) – pizza, salad, paninis, kids menu
- Reilly Craft Pizza, 101 E. Pennington St. (2.1 miles away) – lunch, dinner, beer garden, basement bar
- Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E. Pennington St (2.1 miles away) – “imaginative Mexican cuisine in an upscale, urban bistro setting”
- Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S. 6th Ave (2.3 miles away) – Modern American cuisine
- Maynards Market, 400 N. Toole Ave (2.4 miles away) – dinner, Sunday brunch, indoor/outdoor
- Cafe a La C’Art, 150 N. Main Ave (2.5 miles away) – beautiful cafe on-property of the Tucson Museum of Art, indoor + outdoor seating
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a visit to the UA Poetry Center?
All ages – especially children and adults interested in poetry, reading, and writing. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the colorful Children’s Corner (where story times and sing-alongs are held).
Should I bring a stroller?
The UA Poetry Center is not large so a stroller probably won’t be necessary.
Is there a designated area for mothers to feed their babies?
There is not a designated area, but there are comfortable leather chairs to relax in.
Are changing tables available?
What about my other “baby” (dog, cat, etc)?
Only service animals are allowed inside the facility.
Can I have my wedding, rehearsal dinner, and/or birthday at the UA Poetry Center?
The UA Poetry Center doesn’t rent out space for personal use at this time.
Is the UA Poetry Center active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to the UA Poetry Center?
Fun fact! Poet Robert Frost came to Tucson by train in 1960 to read at the dedication of the new Poetry Center.