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Middlesex CC to Host La Guagua Poetry Virtual Reading

May 1, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College has come up with creative ways to engage students in virtual community events. Middlesex will host the first ever La Guagua Poetry Virtual Reading featuring local, regional and international poets and translators. The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1.

For this year’s virtual reading, 17 poets were invited to participate. The list includes Zeina Hashem Beck, Deborah Bennett, Samir Delgado, Alexis Díaz-Pimienta, Rhina P. Espaillat, Danielle Legros Georges, Audrey Henderson, Michael Leong, Pablo Medina, Philip Nikolayev, Pedro Poitevin, Patrick Sylvain, Taty Hernández Durán, Jean Dany Joachim, Daisy Novoa Vásquez, Lada Osman and Octavio R. González.

The virtual reading is part of MCC’s traditional La Guagua Poetry Festival and will feature past participating poets who will read from their works.

Willy Ramirez, MCC Associate Professor of English and founder of the festival is planning the fourth La Guagua Poetry Festival for Fall 2022. A festival and an interdisciplinary one-credit course, the festival provides students with an opportunity to examine the themes of cultural diversity and social inequity. Students can also reflect on their experiential learning through mentor and mentee engagement with poets, translators and publishers.

“In essence, the creation of the reading group La Guagua and its poetry festival was an effort to empower students the same way I was once empowered,” Ramirez said. “With this group, students are encouraged to climb that ladder of discovery for themselves, to understand that future and success are so much more than simple words, but an extension of self and commitment.”

From the Dominican Republic and now living in Lawrence, Vivian Villaman graduated from Middlesex in 2016 as a Psychology major. She has continued to participate in La Guagua Poetry Festivals, including as a moderator for a conversation between MCC students and a Haitian American poet. She calls the festival a “celebration of art through poetry, music and languages.”

“The festival is a valuable tool for students because it exposes them to a different learning atmosphere,” she said. “Moreover, students are given the opportunity to interact with people from different ethnic backgrounds. Students feel represented by taking part in different types of art forms. It gives them the unique opportunity to participate in workshops led by people who look and sound similar to them.”

Gerald Jansen Ramon graduated from MCC in 2018 with an associate in Information Technology Cybersecurity. From Lowell, he also moderated conversations between the poets and students. Calling it “a lovely encounter between different cultures and languages,” Ramon is always impressed by the variety of cultures and voices he has witnessed perform at the festival.

“It was significant as it helped me to build relationships with poets and students as well,” he said. “In addition, it helps the community to be engaged and see other career paths, such as arts.”

The La Guagua Poetry Festival Virtual Reading is co-sponsored by Office of Student Engagement, Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Office of International and Multicultural Affairs. Participants do not have to register for the event. For more information, visit or contact Ramirez at [email protected].

Discover your path at Middlesex Community College. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in Massachusetts, MCC has been a proven leader in online education for more than 20 years. We educate, engage and empower a diverse community of learners, offering more than 80 degree and certificate programs – plus hundreds of noncredit courses. Middlesex Community College: Student success starts here!

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May 1, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Online, Online
(800) 805 5385
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MIddlesex Community College
(781) 280-3200
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