Poetry & Art at the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) is an interactive arts and culture experience in a museum setting that includes visual art, music, written and spoken word, beverages, snacks and plenty of time to mingle. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. The People’s Choice Poem Awards (open mic competition) follow the featured performances. Participants read/perform one poem under three minutes long. Audience members choose (by secret ballot) their favorite poem based on content and performance. Props, artwork, singing, music, dancing, all accompaniment is allowed and anything goes. Top poem performances (the poems that receive the most votes) win $50. Audience members will be encouraged to hoot for their favorites and try to influence the rest of the audience.

The performers and artists featured on this website have participated in the Poetry & Art Series at the San Diego Art Institute over the last decade and a half. This is only a small representation of those who have graced the museum with art, music and words… and there will be much more to come. Thank you to the writers, painters, dancers and all who have made Poetry & Art a pleasure to host. Special thanks to Director Ginger Shulick Porcella and the San Diego Art Institute for supporting our show since 2001. Special thanks to Jennifer Minniti-Shippey, Poetry International, and surfer/poet Jimmy Jazz for all the love and support.  None of this happens without Jennifer Chung Klam.  Wo Ai Ni.

About Michael Klam

Michael Klam organizes and hosts the Poetry & Art Series at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. The series began in 2001 and features acclaimed musicians, visual artists, dancers, and poets. Klam has published five books of poetry, translated mouthfuls of red confetti and the hunt for God’s skull, a collection of poems by Miguel Barbosa and edited A Year in Ink, Volume 6 of the San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology. His book, Emma and the Buddha Frog (Puna Press), was a San Diego Book Awards finalist. Klam’s next collection of poetry, The Cheapest Flight to Paradise, will be released by Puna Press in 2017.

Klam’s freelance work has appeared in San Diego CityBeat, The San Diego Daily Transcript, Voice of San Diego, and La Prensa San Diego. As a teacher, Klam co-created the Page to Canvas to Stage program, bringing poets, painters, and K-12 students together to create visual art and perform poetry. His publisher is Puna Press. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Emma, Henry, and Anya.


About San Diego Art Institute

The San Diego Art Institute is a nonprofit whose mission is to advance southern California and northern Baja contemporary art and artists.

SDAI’s work is dedicated to advancing creative endeavors of artists of today and tomorrow. SDAI believes that by providing professional and financial support along with opportunities to produce, exhibit and present their work, artists are empowered to create new, engaging and unexpected experiences that expand our cultural perspective and understanding.