Celebrating New Hampshire's New Voices

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“New Voices” is an extension of the Connections reading and book discussion program, bringing an opportunity to students learning English to develop their own stories. Through “New Voices,” professional writers meet immigrant writers, learn from each other, edit words for power and clarity, and explore ways that bilingual writers bring new creativity to expression in English. In “New Voices” readings, writers introduce and read with new writers from around the world.

In Italian, Letizia is a first name, but
it is also a word that means “joy.”
It was my grandmother’s name,
and the poem is for her.

By Federica Odetti

(pictured reading in top right photo)

The joy of a moment
a moment that is a gift.
I lie on your lap
you cherish my hair.
The joy of a moment
a moment that is a gift.
The loving cuddles of that night
what a wonderful greeting!
The joy of a moment
a moment that is a gift.
The memory of your love
alive in my heart.
The joy of that moment.
I call it Letizia.

I Carried
By Nawras Altaher

I carried Quran I carry Arabia books
I carried hijabs I carry prayer rugs
I carried wealth I carry jewelry, golds
I carried kids’ toys I carry pictures
I carried astekon I carry tea kettle set
I carried 4 forks I carry 4 spoons
I carried date I carry dry lemon
I carried chamomile I carry laptop
I carried electric converter I carry DVDs
I carried falafel machine I carry comb
I carried the hopes for new life.

Images on this page are from recent “New Voices” readings in Manchester, Keene, Lebanon, and Concord. For more stories and pictures, visit www.nhhumanities.org/newvoices.