Friday, April 8, 2016
6:30pm to 10:00pmSan Diego Art Institute
1439 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101

What’s even better than poetry? Poets performing live. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Poetry & Art presents “Hosting the Hosts” at San Diego Art Institute on Friday, April 8, 2016.

Join writers and organizers from all around San Diego for this interactive arts and culture experience that includes beverages, snacks and plenty of time to mingle. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7.

After this inspiring and acclaimed group of hosts performs, audience members will have the opportunity to throw their proverbial hat in the ring for the People’s Choice Poem Awards (and $50!). Contestants will perform one poem under three minutes long using the props, accompaniment, and performance technique of their choice (this is a venue that recently held a Cat Fashion Show, so pretty much anything goes).

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/491116294414875/.


Presenting Author/Hosts:

Marit Anderson: Facilitator at Awaken the Poet Within, a weekly poetry writing group at Encinitas Public Library. Anderson believes anyone is capable of performing the practical magic of writing a poem. Her poetry has been published in 2015-16 San Diego Poetry Annual, Summation VII: The Merging of Art and Poetry and online at Excuse Me, I’m Writing. Along the road to poetry, she studied and practiced nutrition, dietetics and psychology.

Rae Armantrout: Pulitzer Prize-winner in poetry for Versed. Professor emerita at UCSD. Her latest bookItself came out from Wesleyan in 2015. A “new and selected” collection called Partly is forthcoming in the fall.

Jim Babwe: Before, during and after 27 years of teaching, performer/organizer Babwe has worked as a grocery clerk; restaurant waiter; on-the-air radio broadcaster (FCC licensed); grant writer; editor; house painter; nonprofit company co-founder and director of curriculum; documentary film writer; independent contracts broker; photographer; content creator (for interactive, computer-based educational software); taxi driver and as an estimating/sales associate in the aerospace industry. He refuses to describe working at a tannery (where he quit after three hours). He would have been a professional baseball player, but the guys who play professional baseball are way better than he was. He is never bored.

Jeff Baker: A poet from New York currently in his final year in the MFA program at UCSD. His work has appeared in “The Antioch Review,” “The Brooklyn Review,” and “Epiphany,” among other places. In addition to writing, Jeff has developed and run an ongoing series of poetry workshops for underprivileged kids, with projects taking place in Soweto, South Africa; Brooklyn, NY; and Mumbai, India to date. He is busy finishing up his first full collection of poems.

Sherwin Bitsui: Author of Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press) and Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press). He is Diné of the Bįį’bítóó’nii’ Tódi’chii’nii clan and is born for the Tlizilłani’ clan. He is from White Cone, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. His honors include the 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award.

Francisco Bustos: Poet, musician, member of the spoken word/music collective Frontera Drum Fusion, and professor of English composition at Southwestern College (SWC). He hosts SWC Guest Writers Series.

Bill Harding: Editor of San Diego Poetry Annual. Poet, singer, performer, anthologist.

Justin Hudnall (and SSWA storytellers): Executive director of So Say We All (SSWA), a literary and performing arts nonprofit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals to tell their stories, and tell them better.

Jimmy Jazz: Surfer. Poet. Captain. Poetry & Art co-conspirator.

Curran Jeffrey: Poet, mentor, Curran Jeffrey studied history and sociology at Illinois State and the University of Arkansas, and spent a life time making poems and waiting tables in Chicago, Albuquerque and San Diego.  Retired, he sits on his 15th floor back porch watching all the sunrises and sunsets.  He hosted the Sontage literary group at Bluestocking Books for 10 years and often hosts events for the San Diego PoetryAnnual.  He current project is guerrilla poetry groups called Poet Talk.

Ilya Kaminsky: Editor-in-chief, Poetry International. SDSU professor. Soviet-born poet, translator, academic, and literary critic known for Dancing in Odessa and other works. He was a recipient of both the Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Whiting Writers’ Award.

Michael Klam: Host of Poetry & Art at SDAI since 2001.

Viet Mai: As a member of the 2013 ELEVATED! Slam Team, Mai represented San Diego to rank 4th place at the National Poetry Slam in Boston, Mass. He focuses his writing and performing toward education, community development, self-reflection and empowerment. In addition to co-hosting open mics, ELEVATED! and Poetic Avenue, Mai also serves as a program facilitator with the Village of Promise Collective Mentoring Program and an independent consultant, specializing in school data and assessment. For more information visit www.vietmai.com.

Jenny Minniti-Shippey (and MFA poets): Managing editor of Poetry International literary journal, and an adjunct professor at San Diego State University. Her previous chapbook, Done Dating DJs, won the 2009 Fool for Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre of Cork, Ireland. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Jackson Hole Review, In Possee Review, Pure Francis and San Diego Poetry Annual, among others. She teaches horseback riding and co-edits the football blog Halftimes with Dean & Jenny. She lives in San Diego with a German shepherd and a patio full of potted plants.

Jim Moreno: Poet in residence of the Juvenile Court & Community Schools. He is the author ofDancing In Dissent: Poetry For Activism and two poetry and music CDs (jimpoet.com). Moreno is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual and hosts Poetry Corner weekdays at 11 a.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM. He is the host of 2nd Tuesday Jihmye Poetry -Open Mic at the Cafe Cabaret on Adams Avenue. He is a teaching artist in poetry at San Diego Writers, Ink and Arts 4 Learning. He was an original member of the Langston Hughes Poetry Circle and is now the coordinator of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, a binational, bilingual poetry collaborative for social justice in San Diego and Baja, Mexico.

Dave Proulx: Poet and host of the Red Poets Society at Kafé Sobaka, where all lyricists and crafters of the spoken word join to celebrate all that is verse.

Christophver R: Host of the The Poetry Party and co-creator of the performance poetry group, The Mightier P.E.N.S. (Poetic Expeditionary Nation of Semanticists). A native of San Diego, Christophver R has been involved in performing arts for over 50 years, as an actor, writer, director, producer and teacher of theater, film and video productions. He writes plays, poetry, teaches acting, conducts poetry readings, directs for the San Diego Shakespeare Society and serves as the Producing Director of The Garden Theatre Festival of San Diego, held yearly in Balboa Park.

Ron Salisbury: Longtime poetry instructor at San Diego Writer’s, Ink (SDWI). His book, Miss Desert Inn, won the 2015 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.

Janel Spencer: Host of the Poetry in San Diego blog, Spencer is a sound artist who grew up in Tucson, Ariz., with desert sunsets and saguaros. She loves to write poetry, sing, travel and attempt photography. She currently lives in San Diego, where she teaches writing at San Diego State University, works for Poetry International and is an associate member of Calypso Editions Press.

Robert O’Sullivan-Schleith: Host of Poets, INC (Inland North County) & The Escondido Arts Partnership Literary Series and regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual for the past eight years. He is a poet, performer and decades-long promoter and organizer for regional literary arts, including the original San Diego Poetry Slam. He captained San Diego’s first team of poets to the National Poetry Slam.

Chris Vannoy: Host of annual Prose and Poetry in the Park. Prolific performer. He won the San Diego Book Award for Twenty Poems Against Love & a Song for the Air. His book, A Strange Summer,includes “I Got Beat in San Francisco” and “Last Call For Kerouac.” Vannoy is San Diego’s beat poet laureate.

Lizzie Wann: An integral part of the development of the San Diego poetry scene in the early 2000s, Wann helped bring slam poetry to the city, created her own readings and produced original shows that featured poets and musicians. She has hosted readings at venues across the city including Java Joe’s, Urban Grind, Claire de Lune and the Grassroots Oasis. She also founded and hosted the Meeting Grace house concert series that ran from 2000-2008. Her work appears on CDs (A Wing & A Prayerand A New Leaf), in chapbooks including Familiars, Naked Wrists, and Complicated Skies and in anthologies including Comstock Review, Incidental Buildings & Accidental Beauty, A Year in Ink, volume 2, So Luminous the Wildflowers, and The San Diego Poetry Annual.

Ted Washington: Artist, poet, editor. Founder of Puna Press and the performance group Pruitt Igoe. Pruitt Igoe was awarded a Synergy Foundation grant and performed in Harlem, New York City. Washington won the BRAND 37 purchase award, with the Glendale Library acquiring one of his artworks for their permanent collection.

DJ Barry Thomas will provide sounds throughout the night.


Writers/artists who would like to participate in the People’s Choice Poem Performance Awards are strongly encouraged to email mkklam@gmail.com in advance, as available slots are limited.

For more information please contact host Michael Klam at 619-957-3264.



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