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MYSTIC — Emerita Poet Laureate of Rhode Island Lisa Starr will return to the Arts Café Mystic next week as the storied Mystic institution continues its 25th year of “inspiring words and music,” according to Christie Max Williams, the café’s artistic director.

Every year, the café presents three programs of poetry and music, one in the spring and three in the fall.

Starr, whose work, Williams said, has earned a loyal readership across the country, will be the featured guest on Friday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. for the café’s annual “Youth Will Be Served” show at the Mystic Museum of Art.

Williams said Starr, widely acclaimed as a “podium personality and reader of her work,” will provide a sneak-preview reading of poems from her upcoming book about children, “Pot Luck.”

Starr has published three highly regarded collections of poems, including “Mad with Yellow,” and was the founder and director of the Block Island Poetry Project, a nationally known conference of poets, educators, musicians, and writers. Her anthology “Where Beach Meets Ocean,” features poems by Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Coleman Barks and other poets, herself included, who participated in the Block Island Poetry Project.

Complementing Starr’s reading will be the talented young singer-songwriter Casey Flax, who will perform her original songs. Flax, a senior at Fitch High, was a regional finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” She also “performed memorably” at the New London Talent Show, Williams said. The café will also continue a tradition of honoring the student poets laureate of six of the region’s high schools. The students, including Laika Bertrand of Norwich Free Academy, Payton Edwards of Ledyard High, Michaela Green of Waterford High, Karin Hansen of Stonington High, Holly Richmond of Montville High, and Alyssa Solomon of Fitch High, will read as the program’s collective “Opening Voice.”

The Arts Café Mystic is an independent nonprofit, founded in 1994. Its mission is to contribute to the cultural life of Southeastern Connecticut by presenting programs featuring readings by the nation’s most celebrated poets and writers, complemented by music from the Northeast’s finest musicians. The poets and writers presented have included poets laureate of the U.S. and winners of virtually every important literary prize, including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and MacArthur “Genius” Prize.

Music heard at the Arts Café has ranged from opera and classical, to jazz and rock, and many other styles and genres. The Arts Café is a recipient of the Dorothy Mullen Arts and Humanities Award to “honor the most innovative and effective arts and humanities programs across the nation.”

For more information, contact Williams at 860-912-2444.

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