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Orlando Ferrand Writer & Artist

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Panel Discussion "Latino Authors Speak" with Linda Nieves-Powell, Sofia Quintero, Charlie Vazquez and Orlando Ferrand

Latino writers, entrepreneurs, and cultural activists Linda Nieves-Powell, Sofia Quintero and Charlie Vazquez joined Orlando Ferrand and the Book-of-the-Semester Project on May 9, 2012 for a presentation and panel discussion on their creative work, its impact in their respective communities of interest, and the directions in which their writing has been taking them.

Bronx, NY, May 10, 2012 --( An Academic Affairs Initiative of Hostos, funded by the Center for Undergraduate Education (C.U.E) of the City University of New York, the Book-of-the-Semester Project has been in existence at Hostos Community College since the Fall Semester 2005. However, it is unprecedented in the history of this academic project to have had an Author-in-Residence as part of the Book-of-the-Semester series as well as a panel discussion featuring pivotal figures in the arts and the humanities, who are transforming communities not only through their writing and creative practices al large but also through their social activism.

1. Linda Nieves-Powell is a member of the Writers Guild of America East. She was named “Mas Que Belleza” by People en Español, and selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine. Her first short story “The Fly Ass Girl from the Stapleton Projects” is featured in the upcoming Staten Island Noir anthology edited by Patricia Smith. She is the author of the novel, “Free Style” published by Simon and Schuster. This writer, director, producer, author and successful entrepreneur was awarded the 2005 Imagen Award, the 2005 Comité Noviembre Award, and the 2004 HOLA Tespis Award by the Hispanic Organization of Latino Actors. In 2002, Linda was named one of El Diario/La Prensa’s 50 Most Outstanding Women. She received the Harvard Universiy’s Fuerza Latina Award in 2003, and The Texas A&M University SCOLA Award also in 2003 for her presentation of positive Latina images. She has written and directed many successful productions. Linda is the founder and president of Latino Flavored Productions.

2. Self-proclaimed "Ivy League Homegirl" Sofia Quintero is a writer, activist, educator, speaker and comedienne. Born into a working-class Dominican-Puerto Rican family in the Bronx where she still resides, she earned a BA in History/Sociology from Columbia University in 1990 and her MPA from the university's School of International and Public Affairs in 1992. She began her career as a policy analyst and advocate for various nonprofit organizations and government agencies. An unapologetic generalist, she has worked on issues from police brutality to multicultural education. After years of service and dedication to a wide range of policy issues, she decided to heed the muse and pursue a career in entertainment. Sofia co-founded Chica Luna Productions to identify, develop and support other women of color seeking to make socially conscious entertainment. Sofia Quintero also founded Sister/Outsider Entertainment, a multimedia production company. S/O is developing several projects for television, film and stage.

3. Charlie Vázquez is a radical Bronx born-and-raised, self-identified queer American artist, writer, and musician of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. He is also the editor of Fireking Press, under which he has published a novel and a book of short stories, and most recently, the anthology "The Best of Panic!" as well as his bilingual English/Spanish poetry collection "Meditations/Meditaciones:Bronx/Salsa". His fiction, erotica and essays have appeared in a number of anthologies, magazines, and websites. His second novel, "Contraband", was published in 2010 by Rebel Satori Press. Vázquez's fiction, erotica and essays have been published in a number of anthologies.

4. Orlando Ferrand is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, writer, and poet, born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, in 1967. He earned a BFA/MFA in Acting, Playwriting & Dramaturgy and Theater Direction at the "Instituto Superior de Arte, ISA" (Higher Institute of Arts) in Havana, Cuba in 1992. He graduated from the American Language Program at Columbia University, NY, in 1993, and was soon after accepted into the BA/MA/M.Phil. "Link Program" in Liberal Arts at the university's School of General Studies. He earned his MA in English Language and Comparative Literature at City College of the City University of New York in 1997. With over 30 years of sustained professional practice in the Arts and Letters, Orlando Ferrand has received numerous scholarships and awards in the U.S. and abroad. He's been a member of the Writers Guild of America East since 1994, and is also a member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC).

5. Dr. Robert F. Cohen, who is Chair of the Department of Language and Cognition, has always insisted throughout his career as a teacher and writer that his role as an educator is to go beyond the confines of the subject matter itself in order to arrive at a more "concrete" goal, that of teaching people to have compassion for one another. Indeed, this desire to get us all to reflect on how to improve the human condition has been the driving force behind Dr. Cohen´s research and book writing. Dr. Cohen has been at Hostos Community College since Fall 2000.

The Book-of-the-Semester Project at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York Spring 2012, featuring Orlando Ferrand's "Apologia: Cuban Childhood in My Backpack", will continue to strengthen the relationship between creative works of literature, the writers at work, and academic learning for generations to come.
Contact Information
Orlando Ferrand Creative Studio
Orlando Ferrand
(347) 640 7737

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