Confluencia overview


Held twice a semester, Confluencia is a confluence celebrating a wide variety of voices. At Confluencia, students, faculty and staff, community members, and award-winning writers are invited to gather and share the experiences of different cultures via the written word.

Upcoming Confluencia


Join us for our next Confluencia!

Our next Confluencia is scheduled for Thursday, October 12, 5:00 p.m., and will be held on NVCC's Waterbury Campus in the beautiful Community Room in Founders Hall. The night will feature NVCC poets, writers and musicians as part of NVCC's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The Program:

    • Music, Refreshments and Faculty Art show, 5:00 pm 
    • Book Presentation: “Celebrating Naugatuck Valley Community College: More than 50 Years of Dedication", 5:30 pm
    • Open Mic, 6:00 pm 
    • Readings by featured poets, 6:30pm

Please RSVP to:

The Featured Poets:

Kate Pelletier is an Associate Professor of English at NVCC and considers herself a teacher and healer. Drawn to alternative therapies following a painful period in her life, Kate began to regularly practice (and eventually teach) yoga. She has since earned an E-RYT 200 designation from Yoga Alliance and is currently studying towards her 500 hour certification. Now, she finds her passion in supporting students as they uncover their own healthy practices of expression.

Christopher Rempfer, a full-time English faculty member at NVCC, received his BA in English and Economics and MFA in English and Creative Writing. Chris came to teaching and writing by way of New York City where he was an actor and singer for almost 20 years. He has written songs, screenplays and musicals, including Moving Mike, which played the independent film circuit in both the United States and England.  Currently he is working on two novels and an adaptation of his musical Robin Hood.

Julia Petitfrere is an avid reader, fiction writer, sometimes poet and frequent journal keeper.  Born in Barbados, she moved to Bridgeport, Conn.  as a teenager. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and writing with a minor in women’s studies from Fairfield University and her MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Julia is a full-time faculty member at NVCC, teaching in the English and Developmental Writing departments.

Claudia Ward-de León was born in the highlands of Guatemala. A P.R. Associate at NVCC, she holds a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her work has appeared in Birdsthumb, Postcard Shorts, Rumble Magazine and the anthologies Flash Fiction Funny (Blue Light Press) and Microchondria (Harvard Book Store Press). She is currently working on her first collection of short stories. Support her writing by finding her on Facebook. 

The evening’s moderator is Steve Parlato, NVCC Associate Professor and the faculty advisor to the college’s award-winning newspaper, The Tamarack. He has received the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching and two NISOD teaching awards. An actor and illustrator, his poetry appears in numerous journals including Borderlands. His debut novel, The Namesake (2013), won a 2011 Tassy Walden Award for YA fiction while in its manuscript form. His second book, The Precious Dreadful, is nearing publication.

Confluencia in the Valley

Nearing a Decade of Celebrating Poetry & Writing!


Edited by Marianela Medrano and Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

In 2013, NVCC’s Confluencia reading series celebrated five years of gathering writers to share their work. Dozens of poets, playwrights, authors, and performance artists contributed to a first-ever commemorative collection of poetry, prose, and other selections from those who shared their gifts at one of the signature evenings. The collection, titled Confluencia in the Valley: The First Five Years of Converging with Words, was edited by founder/organizer Marianela Medrano and Assistant Professor of English Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Confluencia is Spanish for “confluence”—the merging of elements, forms, movements, or people. Copies are available for sale at the college bookstore, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation for Student Emergencies Fund and scholarships in the Humanities. 

“This publication was designed to celebrate this significant achievement and to signify that the humanities are alive and doing well at Naugatuck Valley Community College.  Whenever I have a chance to discuss my understanding of what the humanities mean to community college students, I reflect on the need—even as we teach necessary and utilitarian careers—to cultivate the arts and letters as a means of transforming lives by strengthening the human spirit.  The selections included in this collection speak of falling and standing up, drifting, reaching back and moving forward with strength, precision and beauty.   What a meaningful gathering of words this is!” – From the introduction by NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.

The dozens of contributors whose work is gathered here include:
  • Janet E. Aalfs, former poet laureate of Northampton, MA
  • Sharon Charde, six-time Pushcart Prize nomineeClaire Zoghb, winner  of the Dogwood poetry competition
  • Sally Van Doren, Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award recipientBessy Reyna, first prize winner in the Joseph E. Brodine poetry competition
  • Sherezada Luisa “Chiqui” Vicioso, National Literary Award Winner, Dom.
  • Rep.Duane Esposito, Pushcart Prize nominee
  • Rhina Espaillat, T.S. Eliot Prize recipient
  • Breena Clarke, author of an Oprah Book Club selection 
  • Kate Rushin, Cave Danem Foundation fellowship awardeeRalph Nazareth, featured in national and international journals

Marianela Medrano is poet and a writer of non-fiction and fiction who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, a professional counselor’s license and certification as a poetry therapist. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines in Latin America, Europe and the United States. Her individual publications include Regando Esencias/The Scent of Waiting; Curada de Espantos/One Who Has Seen It All.

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, a journalist, writer, editor, Fulbright Scholar, formerly a professor of English at NVCC. Her syndicated opinion columns have appeared in national and international publications. Her magazine credits include JET, The Progressive, GIANT, and Urban Latino. The Simon and Schuster Short Prose Reader, Once Upon a Cuento, and Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism also feature her work. Visit for more.

Copies of the book are for sale at NVCC's bookstore. Proceeds will go to support scholarships for the Arts and Humanities.

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