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Noah Webster House To Sponsor Poetry Read-In

Bessy Reyna. Submitted photo

The poetry Read-In in West Hartford will feature Bessy Reyna and Julia Morris Paul.

Submitted by Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Bessy Reyna. Submitted photo

Bessy Reyna. Submitted photo

On Friday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to hear local poets Bessy Reyna and Julia Paul as they lead an evening of poetry at the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. Maria Sassi, West Hartford poet laureate emeritus, will host the festivities, including an open mic portion.

Born in Cuba, and raised in Panama, Reyna is an award-winning poet whose work has been published in anthologies and literary magazines in English and Spanish. Her bilingual collection Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover was published in Mexico in 2010. A former Master Teaching Artist for the CT Commission on the Arts, for nine years she was a columnist for the Hartford Courant. She has participated in poetry festivals in the US, Nicaragua, Cuba and Salvador. This year she presented Memoir writing workshops in Guatemala. Reyna is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has M.A. and J.D degrees from the University of Connecticut.

Julia Paul. Submitted photo

Julia Paul. Submitted photo

Paul’sfirst book, Shook, was recently published by Grayson Press. She serves on the boards of the Connecticut Poetry Society and Riverwood Poetry Series. In 2014, she was named Manchester CT’s first Poet Laureate and is a founding member of the Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate. In addition to publication in national and international journals and anthologies, several of Paul’s poems have been performed in stage productions. She is an elder law attorney with Falkenstein, Meggers, Paul & Robinson, PC, in Manchester.

Maria Sassi, the host of Webster’s Read-Ins, is a prize-winning poet and playwright and served as the first Poet Laureate of West Hartford from 2005-2009. Her book of poems, Rooted in Stars, is in its second edition, the first is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. She has hosted many poetry venues, including the Old State House, Charter Oak Cultural Center, and the Noah Webster Library.

Poets are encouraged to read their own works during the open mic portion of the evening. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free to the public, but donations will be gratefully accepted.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is located in the restored birthplace and childhood home of Noah Webster. Webster was a national figure known not only for the first American dictionary and the Blue-Backed Speller, but also for being a federalist, an abolitionist and a cofounder of Amherst College. The historic house and exhibit spaces are open daily 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. For information on the museum’s extensive school and public programs, please visit us at www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call (860) 521-5362.

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