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NVCC Hosts Night of Multilingual Poetry in New Community Room

Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a special evening of music and poetry featuring three award-winning writers and poets at Confluencia on April 19 at the College’s Waterbury Campus. The evening kicked off with the music of a student jazz trio and continued with an “open mike” featuring NVCC students who offered readings of original works as well as poetry and prose by noted writers. The readings included French, Polish, Mandarin, and Spanish with English translations read by a second student to create a truly multilingual experience. Student Government Association Vice President Carlos Romero welcomed students and read some verse by William Shakespeare.

The featured poets who read their work were:

Melissa Coss Aquino, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx, is a writer and Assistant Professor of English at CUNY, Bronx Community College. She also serves as an advisor for Thesis, the Literary Journal of BCC. She has published numerous writings including a fairy tale entitled “Pelo Bueno/Good Hair”. Her book Citizen, Radical, Rebel and Voice: 100 years of Jesús Colón, A Puerto Rican in New York is set to be published in 2018.

Edgar Smith was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1973. He is an expert in International Airline Security and was an English teacher for fifteen years. He has published nine books, both in English and Spanish that include poetry, short stories and novels. He is also the sole founder and Operations Manager of Books & Smith New York Editors, conceived to help new and experienced writers and poets fulfill their literary dreams.

J. Barrett Wolf lives and writes in Binghamton, NY, where he has hosted poetry open mikes for over eight years. An award-winning poet he has produced the reading series “Here & There: Poets from Near and Far,” and has performed nationally and internally. Wolf has studied at The Irish Writers center and travels annually to Scotland to workshop with poets. His first volume of poetry, Stark Raving Calm, was published in June of 2011 by Boone’s Dock Press.

Marianela Medrano moderated the evening’s program.  She is a writer and professional counselor with a Ph.D. in psychology. She offers workshops and readings in Connecticut and around the country. She has published six poetry books including her two most recent works, Diosas de la Yuca/Goddesses of the Yuca (2011) and Prietica (2013).

Held four times per academic year, Confluencia was established in October 2008 by President De Filippis, who was appointed in July of that year. “It is a way to honor talented writers and all they have achieved in their life’s work and a way to share their personal experiences with others,” President De Filippis said. “The literal meaning of the title ─ a coming or flowing together, meeting or gathering at one point ─ describes what we envision when our community becomes part of the excitement on our campus. It is an opportunity for the College to affirm the centrality of community. 

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