POETRY CRAWL: Just when you thought those Downtown Saturday
Night events were turning into one blurry potpourri of balloon
animals, colliding street-corner musicians and wafting ribbons
of incense, the Tucson Arts District Partnership comes up with
a truly novel mobile celebration: The first-annual Tucson Poetry
Under the guiding hand of Scott Stanley, the guy who single-handedly brought the Poetry Slam tradition to the Old Pueblo last year, this crawling mass of poetic exuberance should break down any lingering preconceptions about rhyme and reason. Local band Crawdaddy-O will escort the crawlers from venue to venue, starting on Fourth Avenue and wending their way south to Congress Street. You can't miss them: They're the only Dixieland brass ensemble followed by a costumed lady on stilts.
From club to café to outdoor stage, bar and theater, the Poetry Crawl proclaims that "at each venue poetry will be shouted, stomped, sung, wailed, laughed and generally poured out under the city lights of Tucson."
Headlining poets include William Pitt Root, Will Inman, Pipestem, Jessica Jaramillo, Tom Cox, Oliver John, Joan DeMarcos, David Mitchell (weekly host of the Casbah Poetry Series) and Pamela Uschuk.
Other performers include the excellent swinging hipsters of Honeywagon and guests, along with the burn-clinic defying acrobatics of flame throwers Flam Chen.
The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19, with a laser show at 3rd Stone Bar and Grill, 500 N. Fourth Ave. Crawling ensues on the half-hour to Aroma Café, the Hotel Congress lobby, and the Ronstadt Transit Center stage. From there, they'll head over to Arizona Alley at 8:45 p.m., Café Magritte at 9:10 p.m., followed by stops at Double Zero and the Youth Storefront before finishing up at the Tao of Natural Foods Café, 256 E. Congress St., to culminate in the Benefit for Poetry gathering at 10:30 p.m.
The latter will launch the new Tucson Poetry Fund, to be administered by the Arts District Partnership, for scholarships, writers in residence and the establishment of other ongoing events to promote the written word locally.
All this, if you can believe it, costs a mere $3 at the door, with lots of $2 beer yours for the asking (with the proper ID, of course). If you approve of the goings on, drop some cash in the coffers for the fund: All donations are tax-deductible. For more information on this and other Downtown Saturday events, call the Tucson Arts District 624-9977.
WHAT, THAT ISN'T ENOUGH? If the crawl requires more get-up-and-go than suits your artistic temperament, hunker down with The Drunken Word Poets at 8 p.m. in the low-lit innards of the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Blend into the woodwork and learn the truth about love, sex, grocery shopping and other urban myths with "The Cheap Truth Highball Hour," featuring Carl "Dapper Young Man" Marcum, Erin "Woo-Woo Girl" Whitfield and Steph "The Smoking Goddess" Murray. With sonic back-up by guitarist D. Shayne Christie and saxophonist Tom Todd. As always, man-myth-beverage host Tom Collins promises, "It's the culture in your cocktail."
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