Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted a special evening of music and poetry featuring three award-winning writers and poets at Confluencia on November 15 at the College’s Waterbury Campus. The evening kicked off with 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 French, Arabic, and Spanish with English translations read by a second student to create a truly multilingual experience. Student Government Association President Emily Verdosci welcomed students and read an original poem.
The featured poets who read their work were:
Carmen Bardeguez-Brown is a poet and educator from Puerto Rico. Her work was featured in the documentary film: Latino Poets in the United States. This award-winning piece was produced by Ray Santiesteban and showcased her, along with other founding members of the Nuyorican Poets movement such as Pedro Pietri and Willie Perdomo among many others.
Sasha Kamini Parmasad, (MFA, Columbia University) is the author of the poetry collection No Poem (Yuganta Press, 2017). She has won international awards for her poetry as well as her first novel, Ink and Sugar. In addition, she has taught academic/creative writing courses at Columbia University. With more than 20 years of meditation experience, she is a Director of the Women’s Initiative at the David Lynch Foundation (NYC).
Juan Matos is a Dominican educator residing in Worcester, MA. He has written many books including Temblor de espejos (2011). A founding member of literary groups and workshops, his works have been featured in numerous anthologies and literary reviews. He holds two Master’s degrees and has studied in the U.S. and internationally. He teaches Advanced Placement Spanish Literature and Culture classes at North High School in Worcester. MA
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.”