Contributed by University of Arizona Poetry Center
Portraits of Poets by LaVerne Harrell Clark
LaVerne Harrell Clark, the first director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center, was also a writer of fiction and nonfiction, an expert on Southwestern folklore and mythology, and an accomplished photographer. During her tenure, and for many years after her retirement, Clark created photographic portraits of the poets who read at the Poetry Center. She photographed many of the great writers of the twentieth century, including W.S. Merwin, Donald Justice, Leslie Marmon Silko, Lucille Clifton, and Alice Walker. Her photos are characterized by their natural, unstudied quality: Clark was particularly gifted in capturing her subjects at their most expressive moments, revealing the personalities behind the poems.