Arts Cafe Mystic welcomes poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil

On Friday, the Arts Cafe Mystic welcomes an amazing poet: Aimee Nezhukumatathil, winner of the Balcones Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and author of the collections "Lucky Fish," "Miracle Fruit" and "At the Drive-In Volcano."

Her poems are magically wrought - mixing plainspoken and whimsical characters with lush and gorgeously described sensoral images and observations. Consider, from "SPICES Coloring 68":

"If your man doesn't know cumin / from cardamom, it's time / to let him go.

"But if he discovers a wetted / paintbrush dipped / into turmeric makes a soft / yellow line /on your back....then

"keep him...."

There's magic and then there's magic.

It's a great and empathetic program. The evening's musical guest is New York City cabaret singer Nora Fox Blackall (a Stonington native), and the Opening Voice poet is Joanie DiMartino.

- RICK KOSTER

Arts Cafe Mystic, 7 p.m. Friday, Mystic Arts Center, 9 Water St., Mystic; with Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Nora Fox Blackall; $10, free for students under 21; (860) 912-2444, theartscafemystic.org.

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