Posters from the University of Arizona Poetry Center: 1960’s Style
Poetry is the food of the spirit, and spirit is the instigator of all revolutions, whether political or personal, whether national, world-wide, or within the life of a single quiet human being. —Ruth Stephan
There was a lot of action at the Ruth Stephan Poetry Center in the 1960’s. Founded by Stephan the mission of the Poetry Center was simple – to provide a place “to promote poetic literacy and sustain, enrich and advance a diverse literary culture“
In 1962 The Poetry Center launched its seminal reading series. Inaugurated by Stanley Kunitz the series has hosted more than 1000 writers over the years including most major contemporary U.S. poets.
To promote the readings the poetry center produced some pretty visually striking posters. Visual art students from the University collaborated with the Poetry Center to create the posters. Then Poetry Center Director Richard Shelton initiated a student competition to produce designs for these posters; with the winning design for each reading then produced by a professional lithographer and distributed widely.
Happy National Poetry Month!
Photo at top: Entrance to the original Poetry Center. ca. 1960
h/t to the Digital Public Library of America where I happily discovered these posters while working on a post for their blog