Cheap Thrills DATE LINES: Poet R.D. "Russ" Savage is a recent Phoenix transplant who first arrived in Arizona four decades back. And just like our fine state, every poem has a thread of the political running through it, he says. His own preference is poetry that poses political questions rather than dishing up answers, while he explores the margins and thresholds, the edges and recesses of life. Now he'll make those personal explorations public in an appearance hosted by the Make a Date With a Poet reading series.

The free reading is at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at The Book Mark, 5001 E. Speedway. Call 881-5180 for details.

Few make the mistake of suggesting that modern relationships in our whacked-out world are easy. Between phone-tag, the Internet, dirty laundry and cable TV, it's ever-easier to dodge the real one-on-one, or to just get swept up in the daily bustle.

Enter Barbara Van Diest. This talk show host hailing from successful gigs in California provides a string of notions concerning how to clean up your interpersonal act. Or, rather, she lets her guests do the talking on It's About You, her community cable discussion about why we all have trouble getting along.

And Van Diest extends an invitation to you and yours to join the audience for this talk program that's about as far from Jerry Springer as Depak Chopra is from Jerry Falwell. It's About You airs at 8 p.m. every Saturday on Access Tucson, Channels 54 or 62. For free tickets to attend a live taping, call 299-2708.

SAN JUAN CELEBRATION: In celebration of San Juan's Day, the Tucson Museum of Art will open its doors to the harvest season for a celebratory evening of storytelling, with nine prime yarn spinners on hand to weave their intrigues.

And in case your knowledge of traditional lore is a little rusty, here's the scoop: San Juan's Day coincides with summer solstice, the day of the year with the most hours of sunshine. It was recognized as important long before the first Hispanic padres brought word of St. John the Baptist to the natives of New Spain; but the Christian calendar they introduced fit perfectly with the mid-summer date known already to natives as the time for fiesta preparation.

El día de San Juan is still celebrated in rural Sonora with music, dancing and ritual bathing wherever possible.

The TMA folks plan to leave out the bathing part, but they'll get into the seasonal spirit of things with a roster of top desert storytellers including Adela Allen, Phillipe Molina, Danny Lopez, Martin Rivera and Judi Moreillon.

The free gathering will include refreshments, and a performance by the Topawa O'odham Dance Group.

Event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 21, in the Tucson Museum of Art plaza, 140 N. Main Ave. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call 624-2333 for reservations and other information. TW

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