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Voices of Poetry

May 5 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

MoCA Westport is delighted to host an afternoon of great poetry & music, presented by Voices of Poetry, on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 2 pm.  This event will feature a quartet of acclaimed poets – Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Ralph Nazareth, Laurel Peterson &
Natasha Scripture – plus music by  violinist Kristen Young & pianist Joseph Bush.

RVSP here. 

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II – former Poet Laureate of Hartford, CT – is Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT. He is a recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award from the Connecticut Poetry Society, and the Connecticut of the Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/ Creative Non-Fiction. He is the author of the poetry collection, BlackRoseCity (AuthorHouse, 2011), and his work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.  He has read at a variety of venues, including New Britain Museum of American Art, The Mount / Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA, and Hartford Public Library.


Ralph Nazareth is a poet, teacher and publisher. Born and raised in Mangalore, India, Ralph got his Ph.D. in English Literature from State University of New York at Stony Brook. After forty years of teaching at various schools – including SUNY Stony Brook, Purchase  College & Nassau Community College – he retired from academia in 2015. He is now a volunteer-teacher at maximum security prisons in NY.  He has published four books of poetry and his writing has appeared in books, magazines, and journals in the U.S. and abroad, including the award-winning collection Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry.


Laurel S. Peterson – former Poet Laureate of Norwalk, CT (2016 – 2019) – is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks,  That’s the Way the Music Sounds (Finishing Line Press, 2009) and Talking to the Mirror (The Last Automat Press, 2010); the full-length poetry collection, Do You Expect Your Art to Answer You? (Futurecycle Press, 2017); and a mystery novel, Shadow Notes (Barking Rain Press, 2016). Laurel also co-edited a collection of essays on women’s justice, (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).


Natasha Scripture is an author, poet, health coach and former aid worker. As an emergency spokesperson for the United Nations, she covered humanitarian crises around the world, including conflicts and natural disasters in Ethiopia, Haiti, Libya, and Pakistan. Before the UN, she worked as a writer, producer and editor for a variety of organizations, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera English, National Geographic and Condé Nast Publications. She has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, BBC Radio, the Irish Examiner and Women’s Health (Australia), among other news outlets, been published in The New York Times, The Telegraph, Marie Claire, Glamour UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, The Boston Globe & The Atlantic, among other publications, and been featured in The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Sunday Times Style magazine. Natasha has a Masters of Science in Gender and Development Studies from London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree from New York University.


Kristen Young – Director of Performing Arts at MoCA Westport – holds a Master’s in Violin Performance and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Management from University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor’s in Music Management from University of Delaware. Her musical involvement includes serving as a violin instructor at Westport School of Music and serving on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Greater CT Youth Orchestras.


Joseph Bush is a graduate of UConn with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music under the tutelage of Irma Vallecillo. He received his master’s in piano performance from Indiana University studying under Alexander Toradze. He has performed at numerous venues over many diverse genres and has been artist in residence at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, NY. In 2020, Joe won second place in the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) New York, a regional competition where he was also the recipient of one of the two national encouragement prizes.

Voices of Poetry was formed by Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and poetry activist Neil Silberblatt. Since 2012, VOP has presented more than 400 poetry events in NY, NJ, CT & MA. Those events – which have featured Poets Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winners/nominees – have been presented at numerous venues, including Forbes Library in Northampton, MA; Cambridge Public Library; New Britain Museum of American Art; Provincetown Art Association & Museum; Brooklyn Public Library; The Rubin Museum of Art and Jefferson Market Library in NYC; The Mount / Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA; and The Stockbridge Library and Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA.Poster for VOP at MoCA


May 5
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


MoCA Westport
19 Newtown Turnpike
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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(203) 222-7070
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