Local musician publishes poetry collection

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A celebration of the publication of Laura Mazza-Dixon’s new book, Forged by Joy, will be held on Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. (Snow date is Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.). at South Congregational Church Fellowship Hall, in Granby.  Published by the local press, Antrim House Books, Forged by Joy is a collection of poems written over the course of the author’s life.
Music, the life of the spirit, political activism, poetry, and the natural world are Laura Mazza-Dixon’s passions. Religious and meditative traditions have been at the heart of her life since childhood, always viewed through the lens of her questioning spirit, and inspiring her to promote social and political change.
In the preface she writes, “I have spent a lifetime traversing the countryside between the mountains of central Pennsylvania, the hills of western Connecticut, and the rockbound coast of Downeast Maine.  Late in the day, when the light falls across the hills that fold down to a river valley, you can see each layer of the landscape outlined all the way out to the horizon. The poems in this book are stories of the play of light and shadow across such a landscape, seen in retrospect, as though from a higher elevation. I have kept these stories close to me for decades, have puzzled and wrestled and prayed my way through the living of them, and sometimes have written them down.”
A long-time Granby resident, Mazza-Dixon plays and teaches both guitar and viola da gamba, with a particular interest in traditional Celtic, Renaissance and Baroque music. She directs the Windy Hill Guitar Studio and has been a guiding spirit behind the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series and the Granby Family Dance Series.
Recently, she organized Courageous Conversations on Race poetry workshops in Granby and wrote a story/poem about Harriet Tubman, which she read for the Celebration of Black History at Trinity Community Church in Hartford last February.
In the words of Rennie McQuilkin, Connecticut’s poet laureate, “Showing how the cauldron of grief and despair can produce hard-earned joy wrought on the anvil of courage and faith, Laura Mazza-Dixon has forged a book to inspire all who yearn to move past seemingly insurmountable losses.”
The event is free and open to the public. The facility is wheelchair accessible.
Books will be available for sale and signing. Editor and publisher Rennie McQuilkin will introduce the author and read from his own work. Music will be provided by Deborah Robin on recorder, Carrie Crompton on hammered dulcimer, and Monika Kinstler on violin and viola da gamba. 
For more information call 860-653-6146 or visit www.antrimhousebooks.com/mazza-dixon.html.

Forged by Joy is a collection of poems by Laura Mazza-Dixon.