On Thursday, April 21, NVCC held the final Confluencia of 2015-2016 at the Palace Theatre in Danbury. Professor of English, Lisa Shuchter, Jay Halpern and Bonnie Goulet travelled with their classes to the event. Chris Connelly, NVCC music student, provided the musical prelude for the reception. James Chatman, the SGA Senator for the Danbury Campus, provided the welcome message for the evening.
Students in Professor Shuchter’s class continued their open mic tradition of reading original poetry as well as bilingual readings of previously published works. Poems were read in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Patios, Polish and Russian. Open mic participants includes Marta & Maya Cuprys, Yuliya Polichshuk & Alissa Rush, Robert Deloy, Peiyi Li & Emily Solla, Roberta Strom, Rona Schenkerman, Annasharie Malcolm, Shelli Ann, Najd & Sana Alishommary, Zachary Brodsky, Lizzie Louis, Jay Halpern, Forrest Fee, Ana Gomes and Eddy Perez.
Following the open mic, poet Susan Cossette Eng, a two-time recipient of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize read from her first collection of poetry, Peggy Sue Messed Up. . . and Other Poems, which will be published in June 2016.
Isabel Espinal, a librarian from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies with a dissertation on contemporary Dominican women writers in the United States, read next also from her own poetry.
Christina M. Rau, the author of the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and John L. Stanizzi, an author, poet and an adjunct professor of English at Manchester Community College read poetry from their own works followed by a question and answer session.
Confluencia, held four times per academic year, is traditionally hosted at The Danbury Palace in the early spring. The poetry event was established in October 2008 by Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., NVCC’s president, 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,” 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.”