Columnist and author Bessy Reyna at UB on February 25

“Necessary Voices” series continues with Bessy Reyna and “Border Crossings: A Day in the Life of Latino Immigrant Poets”

Celebrated author Bessy Reyna, whose popular newspaper columns, articles, books, and poetry have given voice to the immigrant experience, will lecture and read at the University of Bridgeport on Thursday, February 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will be held at the Schelfhaudt Gallery at the Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport.

It is free and open to the public. Parking is available.

Ms. Reyna’s talk and reading, “Border Crossings: A Day in the Life of Latino Immigrant Poets,” is presented by Necessary Voices, an ongoing series about the arts and ideas that is curated by UB’s Department of English.

Born in Cuba, Ms. Reyna and her family immigrated to Panama before the revolution. She first came to the United States in 1968, when she was awarded a scholarship to Mt. Holyoke College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was one of ten women honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

She is currently, the arts-and-culture editor for the Hispanic newspaper Identidad Latina and a contributing columnist for Previously, she was a monthly opinion columnist for The Hartford Courant, where she also was a regular contributor to its Sunday magazine, Northeast.

Ms. Reyna’s personal journeys—as an immigrant, a Latina, an intellectual who resisted traditional roles for women, a first-generation college student, activist and award-winning author—forced her to explore, make sense of, and adapt to various cultures and mores that were often at odds.

Writing, and poetry in particular, became a means for Ms. Reyna to navigate uncertain cultural shoals. She began writing poetry after a school teacher introduced her to the works of Cuban poet José Martí.

Prolific and thought provoking, Ms. Reyna is the author of two bilingual books of poetry, The Battlefield of Your Body and Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover/ Memorias de la amante infiel, the chapbooks She Remembers and Terrarium, and Ab Ovo, a collection of stories. In addition, her poetry can be found in numerous anthologies, including El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry, In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States, The Arc of Love: Lesbian Poems; and The Wild Good.

She is a contributor to Gathered Light: The Poetry of Joni Mitchell’s Songs and Penelope: Antologia de Cuentistas Centroamricanas. Her story “So That You Will Hear Me” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

After graduating from Mt Holyoke College, Ms. Reyna earned a master’s and a law degree from the University of Connecticut.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,