Arizona

In 2012, as part of its centennial year of statehood, Arizona established a state poet laureate position. Alberto Ríos was appointed the inaugural state poet laureate in 2013. He is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  

Rosemarie Dombrowski was named the first poet laureate of Phoenix, Arizona, in 2016. She will serve a two-year term.

In 2017, TC Tolbert was named the poet laureate of Tucson, Arizona. S/he will serve a two-year term.

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Poetry in Arizona
Alberto Ríos
Arizona poet laureate

Alberto Ríos

Born in 1952, Alberto Ríos is the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona and the author of many poetry collections, including  A Small Story about...

poems

poem

 

1.

I will wait, said wood, and it did.
Ten years, a hundred, a thousand, a million—

It did not matter.  Time was not its measure,
Not its keeper, nor its master.

Wood was trees in those first days.
And when wood sang, it was leaves,

Which

poem
Dear Saint Patrick, this is Peggy,
Or maybe it's Pegeen to you,
Well, I'm really Stella Mae.
Peggy's my nickname,
But anyway, will you please tell me
What to do about the rattlesnake
That's in my room?
I know it's there,
But I can't find it anywhere I search.
I've ransacked the closet more than once,
Because
poem
Yellow-oatmeal flowers of the windmill palms 
like brains lashed to fans-
even they think of cool paradise, 

Not this sterile air-conditioned chill 
or the Arizona hell in which they sway becomingly. 
Every time I return to Phoenix I see these palms 

as a child’s height marks on a kitchen wall, 
taller now