Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a special evening of music and poetry featuring three award-winning writers and poets at Confluencia on March 29 at the College’s Danbury Campus. The evening began with music played by a student guitarist and moved on to college President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., opening remarks followed by an “open mic” featuring NVCC students who offered readings of original works as well as poetry and prose by noted writers in a variety of languages. Many poems were read by student pairs in the original French, Polish, or Spanish with the English translations read by a second student for a truly multilingual experience.
The featured poets who read their work were:
Ameen-Storm Abo-Hamzy, an award-winning poet who, due to his personal experience with war, has a passion for achieving lasting peace among nations. As the founder of Evolution Ink, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the proposition of peace as a realistic expectation, he produces a poetry series and has sponsored the Poetry Is Music® summer festival since 1995. He has performed his poetry around the world and has received numerous honors for his work in both the arts and poetry.
Elaine Nadal a writer and educator. She holds a Master’s degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. She also has degrees in Spanish secondary education and fine arts (music). A Pushcart nominee, she has been published in several journals, including Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Arsenic Lobster, and Pilgrimage Magazine. She is currently working on a novel.
Fior E. Plasencia (Mujer con Voz), was born in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. An artist and poet, Fior studied History and Education at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College. Her work has appeared in The Acentos Review, La Galería, New York Dreaming, Brown Loud and Proud, St. Sucia, and others. Fior is also the author of Para Cenar Habra Nostalgia and you can find more of her work at www.mujerconvoz.com.
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 in all that we do and to underscore our intent to remain an essential part of the literary heart of the region.”