City Week

More Human

Poetry Reading--Richard Jackson
8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1
Modern Languages Building
UA Campus; parking at Second Street and Mountain Avenue

The various prizes and awards that have been given to poet Richard Jackson over the years outnumber his published works--but only slightly. They're also more interesting than the average batch of accolades carted around by visiting poets and writers, who tend to accumulate awards (generally given by or on behalf of people with hyphenated names) whether or not they're interested in actually doing so.

Jackson's five Pushcart prizes for teaching are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg; he's also been the recipient of two Fullbright Fellowships, fellowships from the Witter-Bynner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation; and was awarded the Order of Freedom Medal for literary and humanitarian work in the Balkans by the president of Slovenia.

While Jackson's own poems have been translated into a dozen languages, he's also written introductions to books of poetry by several Slovenian poets and acted as editor of two anthologies of Slovenian poetry: The Fire Under the Moon and Double Vision: Four Slovenian Poets. In addition to critical writing, his own books of poetry include Svetovi Narazen, Heartwall, Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems and the most recent, Half Lives: Petrarchan Poems (Autumn House, 2004).

Jackson's Wednesday reading is free and open to the public; UA graduate student Aaron Zaritsky will also be reading at the event.

For more information about the event, or to request special accommodations (such as a sign language interpreter), call the UA Poetry Center at the above number.

Get Your Fill of Fall

Fall Color Festival
Nov. 27-28
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Highway 60, Milepost 223
Near Superior
(520) 689-2811

There's no rule that says desert-loving Tucsonans can't simultaneously long for the leaf-crunching noises of the kind of fall many of us left behind--not to mention the sight of trees ablaze with oranges and reds.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum--an Arizona State Park that's cooperatively managed with the UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences--offers a natural way get your fill of fall. (That's "natural," as in, all of us asthmatics who were lured here by promises of easy breathing really wish those of you determined to plant a bunch of new trees would stop.) The arboretum's Fall Color Festival takes place this weekend, while their ornamental Chinese pistachio and honey locust trees--plus their pomegranate hedges, combredum and many other species--are at peak color. Two miles of walking trails and tree-shaded garden collections might provide perfect places to wander with your by-now-slightly-chubbier Thanksgiving guests; live guitar and flute music by Rusty Hyngys and Millie Davis and storytelling by Glenda Bonin and Ron Lancaster are highlights of the event.

The arboretum is located northwest of Tucson, at milepost No. 223 on Highway 60 near the town of Superior--a drive of approximately 90 minutes. UA students should bring their student ID or CatCard to receive a discount on admission; regular admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for kids age 5 to 12. To hear a recorded update about the fall color (or for driving directions and additional information), call the number above; to see recent photos of the arboretum, visit

Full Circle

Singer Tania Libertad--In Concert
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28
UA Centennial Hall
1020 E. University Blvd.

Tania Libertad made her singing debut at the age of 5, when she performed "La Historia de Un Amor" while living in the small, Peruvian sugarcane plantation town of Chiclayo. It's a song she recently reprised (with Césaria ...vora) on her critically acclaimed American debut album, Costa Negra.

Libertad was only girl (and the youngest) in a family of nine children; her father was in the military; her mother was a nurse. Her first concert tour was a prize for winning a music competition and was attended primarily by Peru's workers, but Libertad's reputation grew, and soon, she and her father were traveling to Lima to pursue record deals.

By chance, Libertad met an RCA Victor director in a Lima nightclub; the encounter led to a recording contract and Libertad's first national hit--"La Contamanina." As Libertad's career continued to blossom, so, too, did her father's fear that the music industry in which his daughter was finding so much success would soon turn on her. At the age of 21, Libertad ran away to the artistic hotbed of Havana, Cuba, where she was soon singing alongside the country's most well-known performers.

Still not content, Libertad traveled to Mexico with nothing more than the name and phone number of singer Carmen Salinas; within a few days of arriving, she was singing with Salinas on the internationally renowned Teatro Blanquita stage in Mexico City, where she eventually began singing the boleros made her famous in that country.

Tickets to her Sunday Tucson performance are $10-$36; call the number above for tickets and information.

A Tiny Tradition

Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan
Nov. 25-28
Tucson Convention Center Music Hall
260 S. Church St.

What are the chances of a two-time Olympic gymnast also singing "wonderfully, with precision, with range, with style" (Boston Globe) and "perfectly" personifying Peter Pan (Los Angeles Time)? Small--even tinier than Cathy Rigby herself, who began playing Peter Pan on Broadway and national tours more than a decade ago.

With kids already in a tizzy about the upcoming holidays, and only six Tucson performances of Peter Pan remaining, now's the time to call the TCC box office (above) for tickets to Rigby's farewell performance as Peter Pan. So well does she sail around sprinkling fairy dust over the heads of wide-eyed children that it's difficult to imagine anyone other than Mary Martin herself filling the role, but there's little doubt that Pan will live on, as he's done since 1904.

Multiple Tony Award-nominee Howard McGillin--known for the title role in Phantom of the Opera as well as starring roles in Kiss of the Spider Woman, She Loves Me, The Secret Garden and others--plays both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook; Elisa Sagardia--who has also appeared in national tours of Evita, Fiddler on the Roof and in the Broadway production of Peter Pan--plays Wendy.

With an Emmy Award-winning set, costume design by Shigeru Yaji and high-tech flying illusions, there's no chance your kids will forget Peter Pan in a hurry--it's well-worth the $24-$54 price tag. Performances last approximately 2 1/2 hours; remaining performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26; at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27; and at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Call for more information.