Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a special evening of poetry featuring three local writers and poets at Confluencia on April 18 at the College’s Waterbury Campus. The evening kicked off with live music and refreshments and continued with an “open mic” featuring NVCC students who offered readings of original works as well as poetry and prose by noted writers. The readings included translations in Spanish and Arabic with the original and translated pieces read to create a truly multilingual experience. Student Government Association Vice President Tabitha Cruz welcomed students and discussed several exciting initiatives and programs on deck for the remainder of the semester. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. revealed that Confluencia’s moderator, Marianela Medrano, will be honored in a special edition of Confluencia slated for the fall for the decade that she’s moderated Confluencia and for her forthcoming book.
The featured poets who read following the open mic were:
n jewell, a non-binary poet working with duration, ritual, and religiosity in order to craft a lens through which to view the pastoral as it relates to (and interferes with) commercial and academic language, and in turn, how our understanding of idyllic spaces informs our relationship to our bodies. n jewell has been published numerous times and is working on their upcoming full length collection, road narrative. They tweet @micro___greens and are on instagram @temple_novice66.
Katherine Sullivan, who holds an MFA in Poetry and Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from Southern Connecticut State University. Her writing draws from her previous experience as a childbirth educator and doula. She was the Festival Producer for City Wide Open Studios in 2017 and has developed and organized several conferences and workshops which aim to combine art and activism
James Larkin, a poet, DJ, and performer. He currently studies English at St. John’s University. He is a member of the Urban Word NYC Youth Leadership Council and is the co-founder of the St. John's slam poetry team. He has publically performed in many spaces including the Bushnell and the Apollo Theater. When he isn’t writing or performing you can probably find James running his fingers through his luxurious hair.
The evening’s moderator was Marianela Medrano, 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, 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.”