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Home / Articles / Arts / The Short List /  Poetry ...
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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012

Poetry & Art Series, Taste of Summer, Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cookoff

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

shortlist Jim Ruland
- Photo by Casey Curry

1 Creative coupling 

Since 2001, author and poet Michael Klam’s been hosting the Poetry & Art Series, inviting creative folks to present their work at the spacious-yet-intimate Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park. The location and title of the event might lead one to assume it’s a stodgy affair.


“We call it ‘Poetry & Art,’ but we’ve had quite a variety of shows,” Klam says. “We had wrestlers come one time and do body slams on canvas to make paintings. We had a dance troupe come who put up a steel rod and turned it into a cross and did this sort of butoh-style slow-dancing to approach it and then did a kind of pole dance.”

He’s had poets like reg e gaines, Rudy Francisco (2009 National Underground Poetry Slam champ), Pulitzer Prize winner Rae Armentrout and even CityBeat columnist Edwin Decker. Up next on Thursday, June 21, is Judy Reeves, founder of The Writing Center and San Diego Writers, Ink, and Jim Ruland. Ruland, who writes CityBeat’s The Floating Library column, is the founder of the popular irreverent-reading series, Vermin on the Mount. Paired with Reeves and Ruland are artists Brian Dick, who’ll perform his “Mascot Project,” and Gustavo Zamarripa.

The Mascot Project is something best seen, but Klam takes a stab at describing it: “They dress up in these crazy costumes and they’re sort of moving art…. [Dick’s] part could be a little chaotic—he could pop in at one point; he could be there at the very beginning.”

Zamarripa, a student of Dick’s, blends colorful graffiti-style art with simple line drawing. Here, he’ll display a series of works created on 10-inch records.

The event will be catered by veggie / vegan eatery Evolution. Show up at 6:30 p.m. for the food; programming starts at 7. Admission is $5 or a bottle of wine to share. 

2 The eating is easy

Summer comes in all sorts of flavors, like Cherry Coke Slurpee, sweat-tinged tanning oil and creamsicles. If you’re a foodie looking for a more highbrow way to experience the flavors of summertime, there’s Taste of Summer on Friday, June 22, at NTC promenade in Liberty Station (2640 Historic Decatur Road in Point Loma). The sustainablefood fest features locally sourced, seasonal and organic ingredients prepared into delicious small plates by local chefs from restaurants like Alchemy, Café Chloe and Gabardine. While you munch, listen to live music from Patrick Norton, Stacy Clark and Keng Doja and sip on wine, cocktails and craft beer. Mellow sounds, tasty drinks, sunshine and great food always make the livin’ easy. The event goes from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $60.

2 Crockpots and rock 

For 32 years, San Diego’s collective digestive tract, aural canal and cultured eye have been pushed to the limit by the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cookoff. This year’s fest, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23, features six stages of live music, including Bad Science Fiction, Neveready and one-man band and three-time San Diego Music Award winner Low Volts. Attendees at the free fest can wash down their beans at the beachside beer garden or walk off the calories at the popular Artist’s Alley. This year will also feature laser tag and a giant water slide at Sarasota Park. The event’s not for the claustrophobes: Last year brought in an estimated 70,000 visitors to Newport Avenue, and parking’s always a nightmare in O.B., so we recommend riding your bike. For the schedule visit

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.