Rich Villar in Paterson, NJ
Photo courtesy of Peter Dressel
Line by Line, Poets Capture the Immigrant Story, New Jersey Style
A cynic once said writing poetry is like ice fishing — you have to really want to do it to do it. But here we were Friday night in Woodbridge on the first day of the My New Life, My New Poem Festival of Contemporary Immigration Writing, reminded of how many people from such diverse backgrounds seem to want to do it.
Most, but not all, of the readers had New Jersey ties. Some were children of immigrants. Still, as a snapshot of our assorted diasporas, here it was : Emanuel di Pasquale from Ragusa, Sicily; Sheema Kalbasi from Tehran; Paul Sohar, a Hungarian native who for years combined being a chemist at Merck with writing poetry; Rich Villar of Paterson, part Puerto Rican and part Cuban; Heather Raffo with excerpts from her one-woman play about Iraqi women, “Nine Parts of Desire.”
Complete article is at the New York Times.