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Arizona State professor’s poem featured in U2 tour

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, The Edge, from left, Bono and Adam Clayton of the music group U2 performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Weeknd are set to headline the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June. Festival organizers announced the 2017 festival lineup on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

TEMPE — The band U2 is notorious for being one of the best live concert experiences around and an Arizona State University professor’s poem is now a part of it.

According to the university, Alberto Rios, who is in ASU’s Department of English, wrote a poem entitled “The Border: A Double Sonnet” that is projected on video screens of the pre-show segments of U2’s 2017 Joshua Tree Tour.

Rios’ son was actually the one who got wind of the poem being involved, as he had a friend send him a picture of the poem on one of the screens at one of the recent shows in Los Angeles.

“I confess I didn’t think too much of it, except that it seemed like a kind of fluke,” Rios said to the school’s website. “Then, about a week later, I got an excited call from my editor who said they had just signed a licensing agreement with U2. He said that I would probably see a few dollars — it’s never much in poetry, of course — and I said, ‘Oh, no. There goes my pro-Bono joke!’” — a reference to the band’s lead singer Bono.

The tour for U2 is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary, but Rios has actually been teaching longer, being in his fifth year as a professor at ASU when the original Joshua Tree Tour began in 1987.

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