Spoken Word and Music Series

  • Now in its 10th Season
  • 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 Arts and Education Center, at 903 Main Street,  downtown Manchester.


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.


6:30 PM – Featured poets ROBERT CORDING and GRAY JACOBIK

Robert Cording

  • Robert Cording has published eight collections of poems, including most recently Walking With Ruskin (CavanKerry, 2010); A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2013); and Only So Far (CavanKerry Press, 2015).
  • His other books are: Life-list (Ohio State University Press/Journal award, l987); What Binds Us To This World (Copper Beech Press, l991); Heavy Grace, (Alice James, l996); Against Consolation  (CavanKerry, 2002); and Common Life, (CavanKerry, 2006).
  • New poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, Image, Georgia Review, New Ohio Review, and The Common.
  • He held the Barrett Chair of Creative Writing at the College of Holy Cross for many years.

Gray Jacobik

  • Gray Jacobik’s most recent book, The Banquet: New & Selected Poems (Poets’ Choice) won the 2016 William Meredith Award.
  • She earned her Ph.D. in American and British literature from Brandeis University under the tutelage of Allen Grossman and holds the rank of university professor emerita at Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • A widely published and anthologized poet, she has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing and an Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Her poems have won the Yeats Prize and the Emily Dickinson Prize.
  • For more information on the poet and her other books, please visit www.grayjacobikcom.

8:00 PM – Electric blues with FULL SCALE

  • Join us for a set of high-energy blues, including cover tunes by Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. The band members are:

Bruce Manning

  • Bruce Manning (vocals, saxophone and keyboards) is a singer and multi-instrumentalist, playing saxophone, flute, harmonica, and keyboards. He is an original member of “The Tonecats,” along with bassist Scott Hopkins, and plays regularly at Foxwoods’ Atrium Lounge with the band, “Souls on Fire.”

Sean Manning

  • Sean Manning (guitar) began his music career early with his debut at the House of Blues in Boston at the age of 14.  He continued to play guitar in the U.S. Marine Corps Band, and won the coveted Marine Corps Musician of the Year in 2003. His virtuosity and improvisational skills epitomized the term, “full scale.’

Scott Hopkins

  • Scott Hopkins (vocals and bass) has been a constant on the New England music scene since first performing at the age of 17. Still in his 20s, he founded his own R&B band, “The Tonecats,” and was lead singer for the Rick Harrington Band for many years. He currently plays with “Neal and the Vipers.” He also co-founded “Howell ‘n’ Hopkins” with his wife, Angela.

Ryan Manning

  • Ryan Manning (drums) is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and drummer, who learned piano and wrote his own compositions at a young age. He eventually changed from piano to guitar and drums, and continues  to write and record new songs. He is also a member of the progressive band, “Influenza,” for which he writes, arranges, plays guitar, and sings. More information on this group can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/influenzatheband.


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.