I have moved 18 times. In a few short weeks, that number will increase to 19 when I leave lovely Tucson, Arizona. I will have lived here about 5 years (though not consecutively). And these are the literary treasures I wish I had known about from the instant I arrived.
Tucson Festival of Books. This didn’t exist when I first moved here in late 2006. This festival is phenomenal. I will miss the festival more than anything else. The key to enjoying this festival is to pick up the TFOB insert in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper the weekend before (in the Sunday paper) and spend the week perusing its contents and making a plan. There is a huge mess of tents and vendors and chaos on the mall at the University of Arizona and I think that most people just show up and wander around while eating roasted corn and tamales – as if it’s a carnival. But, to get the most of the festival, you must attend the informational sessions with different authors and experts. It is a treasure trove. Often, I’ll put together my schedule and send my husband to one presentation to take notes while I head off to another session at the same time.
Worlds of Words. This little gem…sigh…I wish I had known about this years ago. I just discovered it in March 2013 and then they promptly stopped most (all?) of their programming because they are undergoing a massive renovation. The end result will, no doubt, be worth it. But, alas, I won’t get to enjoy it. Maybe you will.
Pima Community College puts together a stellar (i.e. good price, good experts) writer’s workshop each May that is not to be missed.
The University of Arizona Poetry Center. This space is calming, the collection is inspiring and the schedule of activities is enticing.
Book Sales at the Book Barn. The Friends of the Pima County Public Library host book sales year-round. I’ve built a library for myself and my children from their sales. Phenomenal.
Oro Valley Public Library. The entire Pima County Public Library system is incredible. I have used more than my fair share of the library’s resources and expertise. I just wanted to salute the fine librarians at OVPL because they have been so kind and helpful over the years.
The Center for Creative Photography houses North America’s largest collection of fine art photographs. This isn’t exactly literary. But I am including it because I have relied on this prize multiple times for literary research. Its archives are astounding. Just last week, I examined a portion of the Hans Namuth archive to gather information (while I’m still here!) for some future books.
any Tucson literary treasures I missed?