Join us for Confluence/Confluencia/Confluenza

Date: December 2, 2015

Location: Naugatuck Valley Community College, Playbox Theater, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Connecticut

5:30 pm • Music & Refreshments
6:00 pm • Open Mic (arrive at least fifteen minutes early to sign up)
6:30 pm • Readings by NVCC Faculty

Although the program is offered free of charge, we request that you make reservations if you wish to attend. Call 203-575-8044/8083 to reserve your seat.

Prof. William H. Foster III has been a writer since the age of eight and was first published at age 12. At present he has 10 collections of poetry to his credit. His latest book is an extended essay on a collection of black and white photos paying tribute to African Americans who served in the military in World War II. It is titled, Proud to be in the Service.

Assistant Professor Steve Parlato, a teacher at NVCC since 2001, is faculty advisor to the school’s newspaper, The Tamarack. An actor and illustrator, Steve’s poetry appears in journals including Freshwater, Margie and Borderlands. His debut novel, The Namesake, was published in 2013, by Merit Press, and he recently completed his 2nd book, The Precious Dreadful.

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.

Dr. Pamela Tolbert-Bynum is a Waterbury-based writer, educator and researcher who writes in a number of genres, including the novel, short story and academic writing. Her research interests are nontraditional adult students of color and low-income adult learners’ college persistence rates. She has contributed to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, is a recipient of the Puffin Foundation literary prize, created NEH curriculum for the teaching of writing, and served as a SAKS teacher fellow for the University of Mississippi’s annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference.

Confluencia December 2015
Celebrating Five Years!

Edited by Marianela Medrano and Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

Last fall, 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 nominee
  • Claire Zoghb, winner  of the Dogwood poetry competition
  • Sally Van Doren, Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award recipient
  • Bessy 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 awardee
  • Ralph 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, is an assistant 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.