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NVCC President Honors Poet’s Centennial in Santo Domingo, New York and Connecticut

Puerto Rican Poet Julia de Burgos headlines Dominican celebrations in 2014

NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., has been selected to speak at two major conferences this February to mark the centenary of Julia de Burgos (1914-1953), arguably one of the greatest poets native of Puerto Rico.

On Feb. 5, Dr. De Filippis will provide the keynote at the Dominican Centennial Julia de Burgos Committee’s international seminar, “Our Julia,” held at the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National Library, Santo Domingo, D.R.

On Feb. 26, Dr. De Filippis will also offer a bilingual lecture, “To Be or Not to Be: Remembering Julia de Burgos, Caribbean Citizen and Sister in the Diaspora” at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College in New York, as part of their Heritage Lecture Series.

According to Luisa Scheherazade Vicious (Chiqui), general coordinator of the Dominican Centennial Committee, de Burgos deeply loved the Dominican Republic, which she could not visit during the Trujillo dictatorship, and was a writer who set new standards in poetic discourse of the Caribbean.

“Julia de Burgos exemplifies truth, beauty and courage,” describes Dr. Defilippis. “Her lyrical poetry where the Caribbean sea and our islands exemplify a woman’s quest for self-definition and full personhood are some of the most beautiful ever written. Yet her voice is strong as it finds the words to define a new way of being. She says: I am strength, I am life and I am woman.” 

Dr. De Filippis is the first Dominican president of an American college or university and a published author and literary critic whose scholarly work is recognized internationally as pioneering the field of Dominican women studies and Dominican authors in the U.S. As president of NVCC, she has worked to bring international culture to the college and hopes to establish an International Center for the Arts in the next several years.

To connect the de Burgos celebration back to NVCC, on October 16-17 the College will host a symposium honoring de Burgos to start off Hispanic Heritage Month. The College is currently accepting abstracts for anyone interested in presenting at the conference. More details are available here.

“I am delighted to have Naugatuck Valley Community College participate in a Connecticut Centennial Celebration which will involve cultural activities in other sister institutions as well.  Thus far Eastern Connecticut State University, Capital Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College are teaming up in an effort to bring cultural activities to our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve.”

For more information on Dr. De Filippis, these speaking engagements or the October symposium, contact Beth Monchun at or 203-575-8044.

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