24th Year of Inspiring Words and Music

Future Shows

September 22               Aja Monet          The Sea The Sea
There’s nothing quite like Aja Monet.  Not yet 30 years old, Ms. Monet is an internationally celebrated poet, performance artist, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate.  Winner of the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the youngest (at 19) winner of the legendary New Yuorican Poets Café Grand Slam, Monet has just published a wonderful book of poems called My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, about which Terrence Hayes (National Book Award-winner) says, “These poems are fire.”  Come see for yourself.

This youthful show will also feature the superb singer-songwriter duo, The Sea The Sea which Huffington Post describes as “two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear…”  Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley are the young talents whose close harmonies make up The Sea The Sea (a name they borrowed from Xenophon’s Anabasis, the ancient tale of Greek soldiers returning to their coast home after a long arduous battle inland.  “The sea!  The sea!” was their cry of joy).  The Sea The Sea return to The Arts Café with a gorgeous new single, How Will We Ever Know.

October 13          Jose B. Gonzalez        The BeeKeepers
Jose B. Gonzalez is a local-boy-makes-good story.  Born in war-torn El Salvador, divided from his parents when they emigrated to the U.S., the eight-year old Gonzalez finally re-joined them in New London, where he struggled as a hyphenated Latino-American boy, and where he eventually returned after doing a Fulbright and PhD to become a professor at the Coast Guard Academy.  Along the way he also became an accomplished poet.  His debut book, Toys Made of Rock, which was a finalist for the International Poetry Award, combines truth, tenderness, and comic humor to tell an important story for our times.

Songs from the Hive).  Including Mandy Sullivan, Sylvie Abate, and Phred Mileski, The BeeKeepers have been hailed as the “best buzz in town” for their “honeyed vocals” and “mesmerizing vocal harmonies.”  According to ReverbNation, The BeeKeepers are the #1 ranked indie group in Connecticut.  Come see why!

November 3           Brenda Shaughnessy            JHunter Group

Brenda Shaghnessy is a freight train of a poet – wildly funny, sexy, pained, tender, but above all, headlong with verbal power and energy.  The New Yorker called her last book Our Andromeda “a monumental work.”  Among many honors, she has won the coveted McLaughlin Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  She comes to The Arts Café with a remarkable new book, So Much Synth, which is really so much evidence for the esteem in which she is held as one of America’s best poets.  Not to be missed.

The JHunter Group will gear you up for Brenda Shaughnessy with some smoky hot jazz, replete with wailing sax, giggling piano, and pulsing rhythm section.  The band features some of New England’s finest players.  This will be fun!