CREATIVE CONVERSATION. In 1990, he won the American Book Award for his collaborative work with Miles Davis, which resulted in Miles: The Autobiography.

That was Quincy Troupe's second American Book Award; 10 years earlier, he won for Snake-Back-Solos, a book of poetry.

Troupe, a University of California professor of creative writing and American and Caribbean literature, is the guest speaker Friday in the next installment of the UA Poetry Center's Visiting Poets and Writers series.

"Any piece of writing he touches becomes music. With an uncanny ear for the language, he combines mere words into phrases -- that sing the range of life's raw emotions," gushed a critic for the Los Angeles Times.

Check him out for yourself in a talk that begins at 8 p.m. in the Harvill building on the UA campus. For more information, call 626-3765.

MARCH FOR MONEY. Talk about a good cause.

Help prevent birth defects by participating in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica.

Sign up if you haven't already for the 6.2-mile walk through the streets of Tucson. Food and entertainment will be provided and post-event festivities include lunch, face-painting, massages and a midway with popcorn, an air-filled jumping castle and games.

All the fun benefits the March of Dimes Arizona chapter's educational outreach and services. Why? In an average week in Arizona, some 95 babies are born to mothers who received late or no prenatal care.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday and the walk starts an hour later at Rillito Park, on First Avenue south of River Road. Call 298-5490 to sign up to be a part of the event.

BEAMS OF ART. Mary Schaefer, a nationally known artist and a member of Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe's Congressional Art Committee, puts her latest show in the spotlight Saturday.

Color and Sunlight, an exhibition of Schaefer's oil paintings, is featured in a reception at Sanders Galleries, 6420 N. Campbell Ave. Other artists participating at the gallery include Carol Lee Thompson, Rose Ann Day and Ron Himler.

The event is from 4 to 7 p.m. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 299-1763.

LITTLE BITTY EARTH DAY. Celebrations of Earth Day include a glimpse of some of the planet's most interesting tiny critters.

Go west to the Sonoran Anthropod Studies Institute to check out tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes and ants (whole colonies of them).

The event is part of SASI's community days, designed to introduce Tucsonans to the institute's Tucson Mountain Park facility, which includes a live teaching collection and butterfly garden.

The free event (donations encouraged) is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Drive west on Speedway Boulevard over Gates Pass. SASI's gate is the fifth pullout on the right, a quarter-mile east of the intersection with Kinney Road. For more information, call 883-3945.

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