23 Years of Inspiring Words & Music

Future Shows

March 24          Gray Jacobik        Joe Holt      High School Poets Laureate
Gray Jacobik is a wise and wonderful poet who has won many of the most important prizes for her work, including the Yeats Prize, Emily Dickinson Award, and Juniper Prize.  Her recently published The Banquet - a true magnum opus - won the Williams Meredith Award for Poetry.  Ms. Jacobik will move you.
As the Bard says, "Youth will be served," and so it is by tradition that we dedicate a part of our first spring show to celebrating young artists.  Our program's musical interlude will be served up by the gifted New York-based troubadour Joe Holt, who recently toured the country behind his debut album 'Brighter Moons.'  This festive program will also present the Poets Laureate of the region's high schools.
April 21               Katha Pollitt           Mike Casey Trio 
We are proud to welcome back Katha Pollitt who is surely one of the nation's finest poets.  Both of her books of poems -- Antarctic Traveller and The Mind-Body Problem - won the National Book Critics Circle Award.  She is also a nationally acclaimed essayist, whose column "Subject to Debate' appears regularly in The Nation. Ms. Pollitt's readings are momentous and funny.
We are also excited to welcome back the rising young saxophonist Mike Casey, whose debut album attracted a sold-out audience for its release last month at the Side Door.  WNPR hailed Casey for "his uniquely original brand of saxophone madness and gladness, well-honed, accessible, and joyful."   
May 19                Richard Blanco            Daphne Lee Martin
Richard Blanco is the superb Cuban-American poet who became famous overnight for his memorable reading of his poem "One Today" at the second inauguration of President Barak Obama. His books of poems and memoirs have carved a singular place in contemporary literature for their eloquent reports on the experience of a Latino, immigrant, and gay man.  His readings are legendary, and we are lucky to be able to present him to you.
Daphne Lee Martin started making music as a kid in Ohio, as part of a musical family with roots in white gospel, mountain ballads, and country.  From the start, she was a torch singer – still is.  After stops in New York City, and with Pete Segar on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, she finally landed in the middle of the thriving musical scene of New London.  Along the way, she became an accomplished songwriter, whose sophisticated, literate songs span genres ranging from folk to R&B, pop, and hip hop, with an originality that has filled four highly regarded albums, and buoyed extensive touring across the U.S.  Nevertheless, it is her silky voice you remember and which holds it all together.  The Arts Cafe catches Daphne Lee in a stripped down and intimate setting, which should serve as a fine showcase for her voice and songs.  She’ll be joined by Thor Jensen, the brilliant guitarist who just played Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Django Rheinehart.