A poetry crawl, to be exact--Tucson's eighth annual. And it's all free.
The festivities begin 7-9 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. It's an evening of film and open-mic performance hosted by the FunKtional Adix and Growing Poetry Productions, intended as a tribute to poets who have lived or performed in Tucson.
Once everybody's had some time to clear their heads, the crawl proper will start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12 at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. At 7:30, the action moves to The Arts Market Place, 172 E. Broadway Blvd., transfers at 8:30 to Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., and winds up at 9:30 at Wilde Playhouse, 135 E. Congress St.
The Poetry Crawl, according to FunK, is inspired by pub crawls, but here, "poets, performers and the audience are provided an opportunity to become intoxicated by poetic works. The Poetry Crawl features a wide variety of established and emerging writers, led by a Dixieland jazz band to a succession of venues in a literary conga line, creating a moveable feast, serving up poetry for lovers of the word."
Organizers have declared that "this year's Poetry Crawl is dedicated to the memory of peace and the prisoners of politics," but that doesn't mean that the poetry will necessarily have a strong political content. Participants run the gamut from the mainstream Ofelia Zepeda and Simon Ortiz to a hip-hop poet and performance artists.
Besides Zepeda and Ortiz, the lineup includes David Mitchell, the FunKtional Adix, Petey Mesquitey, Kind Essence, Austin Publicover, Roberta Howard, Dlyn-Fairfax-Parra, Dove Diamond, Scott Stanley, Jessica Jaramillo, Eli, Jean Paul Pecqueur, Maria Elena Wakamatsu, Albert Lannon and LD Carrico.
Since this is a crawl, will it helps if the audience gets drunk? Says FunK, "It certainly doesn't hurt."