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Spoken Word and Music Series

  • 10th season begins Fall 2015
  • Featured musicians, poets and writers from New England, New York and beyond
  • Fall and Spring events from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Free and open to the public
  • Sponsored by the MCC Foundation Annual Fund Campaign
  • Hosted by Stephen Campiglio

Note: All Mishi-maya-gat events are held at MCC on Main, Manchester Community College’s new Arts and Education Center at 903 Main Street.


Mishi-maya-gat is the Algonquian term for “Great Trail System,” a network of foot paths created by the indigenous tribes of Connecticut. Within this system of trails, a “Great Path” connected one region with another. The site of the MCC campus is along one of these great paths, which led to the naming of Great Path as the street leading  into campus. It is in this spirit of historical and cultural significance that the arts series takes its name.

Thursday, September 17

Frank Wallace, guitarist-2013-informal-color

Frank Wallace

6:30 PM – Classical Guitarist FRANK WALLACE

Frank Wallace’s music has been called “contemporary musical emancipation” by NewMusicBox.org. With echoes of blues, medieval, jazz, Latin, and classical music from Bach to avant-garde, Wallace’s works showcase the classical guitar in solo, duo, and large ensemble arrangements, as well as in chamber works with voice, flute, violin, cello, English horn, mandolin, or piano. On stage, he is known for his “elegant virtuosity” (Classics Today) on the solo guitar and for being a master of the self-accompanied song.  He tours internationally as soloist and with mezzo-soprano Nancy Knowles as Duo LiveOak. In Boston, he founded the new music “Festival 21″ in 2007, and in New York City, he founded and co-directed the “Second Sundays Classical Guitar Series.” Wallace is a two-time winner of the NH Individual Fellowship Award (2001 and 2006). He has a Bachelor of Music from San Francisco Conservatory and has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory, Plymouth State College, Emmanuel College, Concord (NH) Community Music School and Franklin Pierce University, as well as many international festivals. He has written works for Chroma Duo, Edel Muñoz, Jugend Zupf Orchestra of Germany, Mare Duo, Olson/De Cari Duo, Providence Mandolin Orchestra and others. Wallace’s complete works and recordings are available at www.gyremusic.com.

7:30 PM – A Celebration of Connecticut Poet Laureates

Julia Paul

Julia Morris Paul

featuring JULIA MORRIS PAUL, Manchester’s first Poet Laureate

Julia Morris Paul’s first book, Shook, was recently published by Grayson Books. About her book the poet, Ted Deppe, says: “Julia Paul is a poet of fierce compassion and lyric grace. Her marvelous poem Decline begins, ‘In the city of my mother / a train tunnels through / her bones at 3 a.m.—/ its wail, her wail.’  There’s no hint of nostalgia in these explorations of the kitchens and detox centers of family history, the homes and homeless camps of the heart. Instead, the exquisite memory narratives in this collection journey into the past and bring back poems that move and matter.” Julia serves on the boards of the Connecticut Poetry Society and Riverwood Poetry Series. In 2014, she was named Manchester’s first Poet Laureate. She is a founding member of the Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate. In addition to publication in national and international journals and anthologies, several of her poems have been performed in stage productions.

Plus Special Guests:

RENNIE McQUILKIN, State of Connecticut Poet Laureate

Rennie McQuilkin

Rennie McQuilkin has taught English and Creative Writing at secondary schools, including Phillips Academy (Andover, MA), The Loomis-Chaffee School (Windsor, CT), and Miss Porter’s School (Farmington, CT). In 1992 he co-founded the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, which he directed for 10 years at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, attracting large audiences and creating a region-wide radio network reaching all of Connecticut and several surrounding states. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, Poetry Northwest, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Gettysburg Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Margie, Chelsea, The Connecticut Review, The Ontario Review, Nimrod, and many other publications. The author of 12 poetry collections, he has received a number of poetry awards, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, five poetry fellowships from the former Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and the Connecticut Center for the Book’s Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as its 2010 poetry award for The Weathering: New and Selected Poems. His most recent book, Going On: New and Collected Poems, was published in 2015.  McQuilkin is currently the publisher of Antrim House Books. Since its founding in 2000, the press has issued over 150 books by over 100 poets, many of them from Connecticut. The press has been active in promoting poetry events through the state and runs a long-standing poetry series on SCTV, which is broadcast on Channel 5 in Simsbury and is streamed worldwide. For more information on Antrim House’s catalog, please visit www.antrimhousebooks.com. For more than 40 years, Rennie and his wife, the artist Sarah McQuilkin, have lived in Simsbury, where he is the local Poet Laureate.

ALEXANDRINA SERGIO, Poet Laureate of Glastonbury

Alexandrina Sergio

Alexandrina Sergio

Alexandrina Sergio is the author of two poetry collections, My Daughter is Drummer in the Rock ’n Roll Band and That’s How The Light Gets In (Antrim House Books, 2009 and 2013; www.antrimhousebooks.com). Her poems have received national and state awards, been given multiple performances by a professional stage company, and have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including most recently Siblings: Our First Macrocosm (Wising Up Press, 2015). Sandy frequently performs her poetry, often accompanied by her husband, pianist David Sergio. Her performance venues have included the Mystic Arts Center (with Stephen Dobyns), Windsor Art Center, Buttonwood Tree and Yale Book Store.

CHRISTINE BECK, Poet Laureate of West Hartford

Christine Beck

Christine Beck holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of Blinding Light  (Grayson Books, 2013) and I’m Dating Myself (forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.  Her collection, The Charlotte Chronicles, won a mini-chapbook award and was published by  Centrifugal Eye in 2013. She teaches poetry, creative writing, and literature at The University of Hartford, Southern Connecticut State University and in private workshops. Ms. Beck is a former president of the Connecticut Poetry Society and is currently an officer and leader of local poetry chapters. Her website is www.ChristineBeck.net.


Thursday, October 15

6:30 PM – Poets TBA

7:30 PM – The Mixashawn Trio, with L. Mixashawn Rozie, saxophone, flute, and vocals; Edward Rozie Jr., bass; and Bill Arnold on drums. “100 years of soulatude, 100 years of jazz from rag time to no  time, be bop to hip hop, crow hop to lindy hop = free bop.”

To join the mailing list and receive a flyer via email, please send your email address to Stephen Campiglio, series coordinator, at scampiglio@manchestercc.edu.