BEAT JUICE. From his early days as one of the beat generation literary pioneers in his native San Francisco, through decades of writing more akin to Hemingway than Keroauc from his expatriate home in Japan, poet Gary Snyder has produced a body of work appealing to all generations. Now a professor of literature at the University of California, Davis, Snyder visits Tucson tonight to present Rediscovering Turtle Island, a discussion of issues raised in his 1975 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, Turtle Island, which draws its title from the name given to the Americas in manay native cultures. Native American cultures and their relationship to the land, the environment and conservation, and "personal issues of place" are among Snyder's areas of focus in recent poetry and essays.
The lecture is free and open to the public, and begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Photography on the UA campus. A reception and booksigning will follow in the lobby. Arrive early as seating is limited. Call 621-7968 for information.
OFF-BROADWAY PRODUCTION. If you've enjoyed Arizona Theatre Company's productions in the past, now's the time to wear your enthusiasm like an ATC costume...or fine art painting...or custom jewelry. These are just a few of the items up for bid in ATC's annual Best Little Warehouse in Tucson fundraising auction, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Landmark Cafe will provide hors d' oeuvres in the courtyard, recreating a New York street scene to the tune of this year's theme, "Off Broadway...Only Two and a Half Blocks!" Silent auction items will be on display in the courtyard, as well as in dressing rooms, the green room, backstage and other behind-the-scenes areas of the theatre. The live auction will begin at 7 p.m. in the Alice Holsclaw Theatre, followed by the final segment of the silent auction back in the courtyard.
Admission is $15 per person, with tickets available at the ATC box office, 6222823.
MILLER TIME. The Denver Post calls his lyrical workings "truly cinematic, painting lavish musical murals of the human condition." From the highly personal to evocative mood pieces like "Dreams of Wounded Knee," Native American musician-painter-sculptor Bill Miller examines the Indian experience in America and his ongoing quest to find his place in a world alternately beautiful and hostile. His "alter-Native American" music has won over audiences from Seattle to Nashville. See him at 8 tonight at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Show opener Stefan George, who needs no intro to Tucson blues fans, will perform a rare solo set.
Advance tickets are $10, $9 for TKMA, TFTM and KXCI members. Charge by phone at 881-3947, or stop by Loco Records, 2901 E. Broadway, Piney Hollow, 427 N. South Ave., or Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave. All tickets will be $12 at the door.
GREEK OUT. The 11th annual Spring Greek Festival is upon us, with food and frolic worthy of the gods of Olympus. The three-day festival boasts food galore, beer and wine tasting, church tours and Greek imports like those cool fishermen's hats, jewelry, pottery, religious icons and clothing from the isles. Strum the bouzoki (12-string guitar), fill your belly, learn the hasapikos with the Panacean dancers; and for Zeus' sake, don't miss Louis Panos' zebékaiko dance at 7:45 p.m., which involves dancing on a table while drinking wine from a bottle balanced on the forehead. It'll leave you shouting "Opa!"
Mere mortals can bask in the bacchanal bliss from April 28 through 30 at St. Demetrios Hellenic Community Center, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, and includes a "Passport to Greece" souvenir program with recipes, scheduled events, and entry in a raffle for two tickets to Greece. Proceeds fund scholarships and the Hellenic Youth Center Building Fund. Children under 12 are free.
FINE WINING. Jon Rogers' humble beginnings in the wine industry stem from a long-ago summer job at Super City Liquor store, where the seemingly esoteric language of viticulture kept him as far from the wine section as possible--a phenomenon all of us who have been charged with picking out a bottle of wine for dinner can relate to. "I read Bob Thompson's Encyclopedia of California Wines from cover to cover, and it was like a serum," says the self-taught wine enthusiast who's gone on to work in all aspects of the wine industry, from harvesting to distributing. "There seemed to be so much mystery, but as I lifted off the veils I found a wonderful world that I liked to share with others." Rogers first presented his "non-snob approach" in February of 1983, and has since harvested more than a decade of knowledge and enthusiasm for this craft. Says Rogers, "The more I know, the more fun I have."
Today's excellent food and wine paring happens from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Landmark Café, 7117 N. Oracle Road. Call 797-1550 to reserve a space--call early. Cost is $20, and includes five featured wines and mouth-watering creations by Landmark chef Bill Burchard.
READING FOR REFUGEE RIGHTS. Authors Barbara Kingsolver and Demetria Martinez will read at a benefit for the Tucson Ecumenical Council Legal Assistance (TECLA) Project at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Kingsolver will read from her new unpublished book of essays, and Martinez will select passages from her recent novel, Mother Tongue, winner of the 1994 Western States Book Award for Fiction. The event will also feature Latin American folk music, Central American-style refreshments, and a booksigning. Tickets are $10 in advance, from Antigone Books, 600 N. Fourth Ave.; The Book Stop, 2504 N. Campbell Ave.; and TECLA, 631 S. Sixth Ave. Call 6235739 for reservations and information.
MAY DAY. As formalized activity in the Naked Pueblo is sadly absent, we've adapted a sampling of 19th century European traditions of this lesser-known of spring festivals. This holiday of unknown origin is celebrated in many countries as a seasonal revival of life. In keeping with the Swiss tradition on this day of courting, surprise someone by placing a cactus (in lieu of pine) under their window. Leave your shoes outside on the doorstep and see if any passers-by fill them with candy. Or declare today a religious holiday (hey, it's no stranger than exalting a rodent or someone getting nailed to a tree) and go out into the desert and gather wildflowers. Early risers can test the theory that dew collected on this day restores youth; and do the maypole dance around the flagpole in the downtown government complex (bring your own ribbons). While you're there, take a moment to say hello to Supervisor Ed Moore and Councilwoman Molly McKasson, who we hereby crown The Baked Apple's King and Queen of May. Although not based on traditional rituals of celebration, we also recommend calling your favorite lawmakers at 1-800-352-8404 and shouting "May Day!" as your response to the end of Arizona's 42nd legislative session.
AIDS PROJECT. All May 1 facetiousness aside, the red ribbons draped from the top floor of City Hall today stand for each person who has died of AIDS or is now living with HIV/AIDS. The Tucson AIDS Project invites you to add a red ribbon as an indication of support for these individuals, and the AIDS service organizations in our community. The Project's studies indicate that AIDS is the number one killer of all adults ages 25 to 44, with women comprising the fastest growing group of AIDS patients.
Join community leaders, activists and supporters today at noon outside Council chambers at City Hall (on Alameda Street) to commemorate ten years of battling AIDS in Tucson. Call 322-6226 for information.
HEAL THYSELF. One of the foremost voices on health and healing today, Dr. Andrew Weil is at the cutting edge of a burgeoning movement to augment standard treatment with alternative forms of medicine. Tonight the UA Professor of Pharmacology will discuss his latest book, Spontaneous Healing, at 7:30 p.m. in Physics and Atmospheric Sciences Building room 201 on the UA campus. Dr. Weil's research extends from the concept that the body possesses a healing system responsible not only for remissions of life-threatening diseases, but also for positive responses to everyday illnesses. His holistic approach integrates nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and mind/body methods long accepted in other cultures, to strengthen this innate healing system and maintain a heightened state of wellness. Tonight's lecture is free, and will be followed by a booksigning. Call 6212814 for information.
PUBLIC PERSONA. Poetry has certainly been in motion in Tucson this spring. Round out your literary itinerary tonight, as the UA Poetry Center offers its last event in the spring series. Contributors to the award-winning UA undergraduate literary journal Persona can be heard tonight at 8 p.m. in the Modern Languages Building auditorium on the UA campus. Call the Poetry Center at 321-7760 for information.
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