Summertime Socials Bring Cozy Atmosphere To The Copper Room

July 8, 2014

Walt Whitman Circle attendees mingle over drinks well before the presentation.

Walt Whitman Circle attendees mingle over drinks well before the presentation, amid the classic southwestern beauty of the Hotel Congress Copper Room.

by James J. Jefferies

Summertime means different things to different people. Some, fixated on the intense heat of the season, trundle through these blistering months lumbering from air-conditioned place to place, iced beverage permanently in hand, and not terribly motivated to engage in new social outings. However, there’s a new series of events designed to break that very habit, one that offers a chance to engage like-minded people in pleasant conversation surrounding the literary adventures of some terrific local writers.

Author Ken Lamberton mixes it up with guests before talking about his new book.

Author Ken Lamberton mixes it up with guests before talking about his new book.

The UA Poetry Center is putting on a short series of Walt Whitman Circle Summer Social events, taking place at the Hotel Congress’ Copper Room, the first one of which was held on June 18th featuring author Ken Lamberton.

A diverse crowd of 50-plus packed the room to hear Lamberton’s amusing tales from his epic quest to collect photos of every one of Arizona’s state symbols (during which he claimed he “ruined his transmission”) for his forthcoming book, Chasing Arizona: One Man’s Year-long Obsession with the Grand Canyon State, an adventure very much in line with his previous works on Southwestern life and nature.

Each event is slated to ‘begin’ about a half-hour or so before the speaker takes the podium. Attendees are encouraged to show up early, partake in the complimentary bread, fruit, and cheese offerings, along with water and iced tea. The bar in the Copper Room is open, of course, and you’re more than welcome to grab a drink and sit down, after having filled out a name tag so you can connect with some of your fellow hardy Tucsonans.

There was very much a relaxed, convivial atmosphere generated by the room and the attitude on display by the folks who came out, and the series definitely presents a winning alternative to just dropping into your average bar after work.

UA Poetry Center Executive Director Tyler Meier warms up the event. His organization, in conjunction with the UA College Of Humanities, is putting on the three social events at the Copper Room this summer.

UA Poetry Center Executive Director Tyler Meier warms up the event. His organization, in conjunction with the UA College Of Humanities, is putting on the three social events at the Copper Room this summer.

There will be two additional events in this series, the next one on July 23rd, called Poetry In Partnership, featuring collaborating artists Ben Olmstead and Simon Donovan, and this event will focus on ways that poetry will play an ongoing role with our modern streetcar, just two days before the big streetcar debut!

The third and final event will take place on August 13th, featuring writer Susan Briante, and her insight into the relationship between poetry and the financial markets, and how the world of stocks became her muse.

These are definitely fascinating takes on concepts one wouldn’t normally associate with poetry or creative writing, and again, it’s a great way to get out and mingle with your neighbors right here in the Old Pueblo.

The doors for these events always open right at 5:30pm in the Hotel Congress Copper Room, and they are absolutely free. For more information about the Walt Whitman Circle, please check out the UA Poetry Center’s website here.


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