There were a lot of new things to celebrate at the last Confluencia of the year which was held in the Playbox Theater on November 26. Kate Pelletier, Associate Professor of English at NVCC, read from her recently self-published book, Little Waves: A Tiny Memoir. Also new to the poetry series is NVCC Professor of English and award-winning author Steve Parlato, who is taking the reins from previous moderator, Dr. Marianela Medrano. Medrano was honored in November with a Presidential Medal of Honor for generously leading the poetry series for the last decade. Throughout the last ten years, Confluencia has provided students, alumni, and community members, the opportunity to hear from dozens of the region’s most notable and diverse voices in contemporary poetry as well as providing a place for attendees to perform in a an open-mic format.
“The event reflected the very real and profound connection between students, faculty, staff, and the community of creators that exists in the world of literature and art. We all share the human experience, and describe and relay it to others in unique ways. Confluencia is one of those special places where it is showcased and celebrated. I am so honored to have been invited to share my work,” said Pelletier.
The evening kicked off with refreshments and a live performance featuring the College’s a cappella group, "Fermata the Valley” led by NVCC Music Director, Dr. Gilad Harel. NVCC Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. along with NVCC student Irisa Hoxha, a member of the President’s Circle and writer for student newspaper, The Tamarack, gave welcoming remarks.
President De Filippis said, “Confluencia/Confluence/ Confluenza, a gathering of voices to celebrate the power and significance of words, is one of the first initiatives undertaken during my presidency and one I am particularly appreciative of because of the generosity and talent of so many. I am grateful to Professor Steve Parlato, a poet, writer, painter, educator and mentor of many of our students for accepting willingly another responsibility. What an incredibly thoughtful and meaningful evening enjoyed by all!”
During the open mic, students performed original works of poetry along with recitations of works by poets such as Edgar Allan Poe and 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi.
In a new format, the open mic readings were interspersed with readings by the evening’s featured poets. Featured poets for the evening included:
- Ines Rivera Prosdocimi, who is author of the poetry collection, Love Letter to an Afterlife (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). Prosdocimi ‘s work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, Kweli, Nimrod, Poet Lore, and Puerto de Sol. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University. Currently, she teaches literature at the University of Hartford.
- Kate Pelletier, an Associate Professor of English at NVCC, is also a registered yoga teacher, owner and founder of Little Wave Yoga School and has earned teaching certifications in Yin, Trauma Recovery, and Restorative Yoga, and will complete her RYT 500 designation in March 2019. In addition, she teaches meditation, energy systems, philosophy, asana, and spirituality for yoga teacher training programs across the state, as well as in retreat and workshop settings. Pelletier read from her debut collection of stories Little Waves: A Tiny Memoir.
- Ashvini Hemanda Devi Persaud hails from Guyana and is a green poet, designer, artist and commercial banker. She and her mirror image twin, Ushvani, social worker, have been dabbling in creative things since kids. They are very close to finalizing their pop-up museum. She has performed for the ministry of her country and other international leaders and loves to engage community in art and live artistic performances.
“I’m always impressed at the range, in voice and topic, covered by our open mic and featured readers. And it’s amazing how the featured readers—while each unique—always seem to magically connect, creating a sort of literary harmony. It was another successful evening, and I look forward to the next Confluencia in Danbury in March,” said Parlato. Held twice a semester, Confluencia is a confluence celebrating a wide variety of voices. For more information, visit, nv.edu/confluencia.