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On October 15, 2019, the WAU Honors College will host an Open Mic Poetry and Jazz event in the newly renovated Recreation Room in the Athletic Department.  In addition to students sharing their poetry during the open mic event, audience members will hear a featured reading by WAU Honors and English alumnus Konstantin Kulakov (’11)

Kulakov is an MFA candidate at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School in Boulder, CO.  He is the recipient of the Greg Grummer Poetry Award and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. His debut book, Excavating the Sky, was published 2015, and his poems have appeared Spillway, Phoebe, Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, and the Tidal Basin Review. In 2018, a series of his Advent poems, Holy Radiators, was set to music by composer Toby Twining and recorded with tenor John Bellemer. The grandson of Soviet dissident pastor and gulag survivor, Mikhail Kulakov Sr., Konstantin Kulakov’s poetry is interested in the relationship between history, identity, and spirituality.

Kulakov will be accompanied by composer and musician Tony Twining.  Raised in Texas, with family roots in country-swing and gospel Twining has traveled musically from playing for rock and jazz bands to composing and performing experimental music for voices with a fresh approach to harmony. He moved to New York in 1987, initially writing for modern dance choreographers who wanted the sounds of a new choral music. In 1991 he started Toby Twining Music, which performed in music halls and festivals across the United States and Europe.

Twinging’s recordings include Shaman (SONY, 1994), “The Little Match Girl” and “Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Pizza” on A Prairie Home Companion 20th Anniversary Album (Highbridge, 1996), Chrysalid Requiem and Eurydice (Cantaloupe Music 2002 and 2011). Twining’s instrumental music has been recorded by pianist Margaret Leng Tan and cellist Matt Haimovitz. He was a 2003 Pew Fellow, a co-founder of Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a 2013 Grants to Artists Award by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

The Open Mic and Poetry event is part of an on-going series to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Honors education at WAU.

The event is taking place in the Recreation Room in the Athletic Department on October 15, 2019 at 7:00pm.  All members of the WAU community are welcome to attend.