By day, Lexington resident Cammy Thomas stands in front of a classroom of teens discussing the great classic poets: Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson.
But outside of her Concord Academy classroom, Thomas is rapidly becoming renowned as a poet in her own right. Her second book of poetry was recently accepted by Four Way Books, the same house that published her debut collection, “Cathedral of Wish,” for which, in 2006, she won the the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Thomas will be joined by four other poets sharing their work and discussing the creative process at the second monthly installment of this season’s Munroe Saturday Nights series, taking place this weekend at the Munroe Center for the Arts, 1407 Massachusetts Ave. in Lexington.
“I write poetry that is based in my own life,” Thomas said. “I think of a poem as an aesthetic object that takes its own shape. I start with raw materials of my own life and the poem shapes itself from those materials.”
At Concord Academy, where Thomas has taught for the past 10 years, the poet has found a supportive and nurturing environment.
“Being a writer and a teacher is always about balancing time and attention,” she said. “Teaching is very externally oriented. Writing poetry is very internally oriented. Even though they are related, in the sense that both of those aspects of my life center around words, the kind of energy required for each is very different.”
Thomas will be reading along with three writing-group peers, Rosamond Zimmermann, JuliaLisella, and Theodora Stratis, during the free event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The women will be joined by another local poet, Geoffrey Movius. It’s all part of the efforts of the founders of the Munroe series to bring the arts to the suburbs — and to bring the arts out of the suburbs.
“The goal of the Munroe Saturday Nights series is to offer excellent, free performing arts events to Lexington and its surrounding communities,” said program coordinator Deborah Weiner. “This kind of programming allows students and adults the chance to see artists — many of whom live and work in their own community — on stage.”
For reservations or more information about the series, go to www.munroecenter.org.
AFRICAN DANCE PARTY: Friday evening, the Northeast regional chapter of Nurturing Minds, a nonprofit dedicated to improving life for girls in Tanzania through outreach and education, hosts its second annual African Dance Party at the Windsor Club, 1061 Beacon St. in Newton. The proceeds will help pay for the construction of a rainwater capture basin system at the Sega Girls School in Tanzania.
Tickets are $50 and include music, dancing, food, and beverages from 7 to 11 p.m. For tickets, go to www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org.
FAMILY CONCERT: On Saturday morning, family performer Ben Rudnick celebrates the release of his 10th CD with an all-ages concert at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington.
The general admission tickets are $10, or$8 for children and seniors, and $7 for Regent members. To order, go to www.regenttheatre.com.
CELEBRATE HEALING: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden will hold a homecoming celebration Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at 145 Bolton Road in Harvard.
The afternoon will include refreshments, music, movement, art, and a chance to learn more about the Healing Garden. For more information, go to www.healinggarden.net.
STILL IN STEP: The folk-rock duo Aztec Two-Step, popular for 40 years, marks the release of its newest CD, “Cause and Effect,” with a performance Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Steeple Coffeehouse, Pilgrim Church on the Common, 15 Common St. in Southborough.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door ($3 discount for students and seniors). To purchase, call 508-281-9995 or go to www.steeplecoffeehouse.org.
SYMPHONIC WHODUNIT: New Philharmonia Orchestra and music director Ronald Knudsen kick off the ensemble’s 18th season with an interactive symphonic murder mystery program Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Gregorian Rugs, 2284 Washington St. in Newton Lower Falls.
“The Composer is Dead” concert will be preceded by a reception. Tickets are $50 and all proceeds benefit the orchestra’s outreach and education fund. For tickets or more information, call 617-527-9717 or go to www.newphil.org.
CAFE MUSIC: Boston contemporary folk singer/songwriter Terry Kitchen and Wayland blues singer Rebecca Lynch perform at the Harvest Cafe, 40 Washington St., Hudson, on Saturday at 8 p.m. No cover charge.
Call 978-567-0948 or go to www.harvestcafeonline.com for more information.
ALL JOIN IN: The Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline celebrates Oktoberfest at 7 p.m. Sunday by hosting an open sing for anyone who wants to join the chorus for Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
Members of the chorus and its solo artists-in-residence invite the community to experience the thrill of singing one of the 20th century’s iconic masterworks amid the rousing spirit of the Oktoberfest tradition at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline.
Admission is $10, with tickets available at the door and from www.coolidge.org. For more information, call 617-739-5182.
FILM FEST IS BACK: The second annual Arlington International Film Festival begins at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington, at 7 p.m. next Wednesday and runs through Oct. 21, with a lineup of independent features and shorts made by filmmakers from Arlington and around the world.
For the film festival schedule and more information, go to www.aiffest.org.
Tickets and festival passes can be purchased at the Regent Theatre box office or at www.regenttheatre.com.
Send ideas to nancyswest@ gmail.com.