Big Read Tucson – Hiding Tomes!

Friends! Did you know that the University of Arizona was selected for 2022-2023 to host an NEA Big Read for the Tucson community?

Big Read: Tucson is a three-month-long series of multi-site public literary events in Spring 2023, centered around a book of poetry:  Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem (2020). NEA’s Big Read program is meant to spark a love of reading and community-building across the US. Over the span of three months—from January 2023 until the finale at The Tucson Festival of Books in March—Big Read: Tucson has been hosting public projects, public presentations, and book discussions, all with the aim of generating first-hand experiences with the imaginative power of literature and the pleasure of collective discussion. 

Tucson Tome Gnome is excited to announce that we are helping with the grand finale during Festival weekend! On March 4 & 5, we will be hiding 30 copies (15 copies each day) of Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem.

Big Read: Tucson selected Diaz’s book for several reasons, including that Diaz’s poems are filled with water. Diaz grew up on the border of California, Arizona, and Nevada. As an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community and a Mojave American, Diaz’s roots are interwoven with water—the scarcity of which she feels in a spiritual, urgent, and embodied way: “The Colorado River is the most endangered river in the United States—also, it is a part of my body” (PLP, 46). These poems offer our Southern Arizona community an opportunity to feature water as the key theme. Big Read: Tucson invites the community to consider Diaz’s work in conversation with places in Tucson where we strongly feel the presence (or absence) of water, from the Santa Cruz River Path to the Mission Gardens.

You can learn more about the Big Read: Tucson by visiting the website! And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled around the Tucson Festival of Books for free hidden copies of Diaz’s beautiful collection of poems!

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