View Text Only Version

Poetry Center


Contact Us  

Poetry Center

823 South High Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3235

  • Poetry Center Sign and building in background
  • Speaker on stage in Philips standing at podium
  • Teachers conversing
  • People in audience laughing at what Speaker said

The Poetry Center offers a variety of programs and activities that help expand its mission of bringing poetry to an ever-widening audience.

The West Chester University Poetry Conference (WCUPC) is the nation's largest annual poetry conference. WCUPC is unique because it offers workshops in traditional poetic craft, and provides a national forum to discuss major trends in contemporary poetry. As critic Carlin Romano noted, it is "the nation's most intellectually rigorous conference for poets." (Philadelphia Inquirer). The next conference is scheduled for June 8 - 11, 2016.

The Poetry Center administers the following awards and activities:

  • Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards, including the Donald Justice Poetry Award, the Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry Award, the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, and the Rhina Espaillat Award. To learn more about each award visit the Contests and Awards page.
  • Poet-in-residence
  • Poetry reading series
  • Mini-conferences on topics related to poetic craft.
  • Art song concerts in collaboration with WCU's School of Music and Performing Arts.
  • Aralia Press, one of the country's leading literary fine presses.

The West Chester University Poetry Center offers an active, interesting, and diverse slate of activities. We invite you to join us and discover the joys of poetry.

Mission Statement

The West Chester University Poetry Center was created in 2000 to further the study and appreciation of poetry. The goals of the Poetry Center are to:

  • provide the nation's finest instruction in the diverse traditional techniques of poetry.
  • provide an international forum for the discussion of poetic form and prosody.
  • train teachers in the art of teaching poetry and poetic form.
  • foster the necessary dialogue between practicing poets and critics in a culture that too often separates them.
  • recognize poetic achievement through the Iris N. Spencer Awards.
  • illustrate the important connections between contemporary poetry and fine printing.

Save the Date

2016 Poetry Conference:
June 8 - June 11, 2016