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Installation view of works by Patrick Martinez in the special exhibition Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration at Albright-Knox Northland. Photograph by Brenda Bieger and Amanda Smith.

Poetry Reading: Comunidad en el Medio: A Reading To and From

Friday, May 7, 2021 ● 6 pm
7:30 pm

Virtual Event

Join us for a virtual poetry reading by Matthew Bosque, Melinda Capeles, Matthew Chevez, Joe Dejames, and Julia Ramirez inspired by the special exhibition Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration. These five poets will invite the audience to share in the unique middle space created by the immigrant experience, a space that makes a new home out of the pieces of both here (where we have gone) and there (where our people are from). It will be a celebration of the middle, a claim on this new space outside of the need for anywhere specific. Readers will speak about their experiences outside the lens of either homeland.


Please register online. Registered participants will receive a link to join this virtual event the morning of the program.

About the Poets

Headshot of a Latinx man in a lab coatJoseph DeJames Maldonado was born in Lackawanna to a Puerto Rican mother and an Italian-American father. His family moved to Puerto Rico when he was four years old and he grew up between San Juan and Humacao. He attended Parkville School in Guaynabo and Colegio San Ignacio in Rio Piedras, both in Puerto Rico, and attended undergraduate studies at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He obtained a Master’s degree in American studies (with a concentration in Puerto Rican studies) from the University at Buffalo, completed Medical School and Residency at University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and completed a Master’s in business administration from Walden University. He lives between St. John in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Buffalo. He has three children and one granddaughter.

Headshot of a Latinx womanMelinda Capeles is a proud member of Los Artistas del Barrio Buffalo and has collaborated with a few organizations within the community, including El Batey Puerto Rican Center and Nickel City Poetry. This performing artist’s talents range from dancing, singing, and acting to aerial arts, clowning, and combat. This two-time Artie Award winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (2015’s Stompin’ at The Savoy), and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (2019’s La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny) has performed locally with multiple theatre companies, including Irish Classical Theatre Company, Theatre of Youth, Road Less Traveled Productions, Shea’s 710 Theatre, Subversive Theatre Collective, Raíces Theatre Company, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Ujima Company, and Paul Robeson Theatre. Nationally, she has performed with Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line.

Headshot of a Latinx manMatthew Chavez has been a consulting member of the Buffalo theater community since 2006, beginning as assistant to Director Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., at the Irish Classical Theatre Company on the Artie award–winning Best Musical A Man of No Importance. Among other highlights, he has hosted late-night improv at the Road Less Traveled theatre, stage managed The Dead English, and played Albert Einstein with American Repertory Theatre, and has had feature roles in the locally produced movies Game Changers and Free Fallers, both of which won awards at local film festivals. In 2015, he became a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union. He has experience working with large crews at Artpark and Old Falls Street, working with large companies like Comcast and Delaware North, as well as state agencies such as USA Niagara Development Corporation and Empire State Development. He currently works for Housing Opportunities Made Equal as a coordinator.

Headshot of a Latinx womanJulia Ramirez (@excusemeimjulia) is always writing, as she’s a poet by night and copywriter by day. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in communication, sociology, and creative writing from the University at Buffalo, where she served as an editor for the literary magazine NAME. Ramirez is the author of two poetry collections: Sentience and Garden. Her poems have been featured in NAME, The Buffalo News, and Clementine Magazine. She is also a social admin and occasional guest curator for Western New York–based show Poesía LIVE with Rachel Robles.



Headshot of a Latinx manMatthew Bosque (he/him) is a proud Puerto Rican writer based in Buffalo. He has recently finished his Master’s in English and innovative writing at the University at Buffalo and is the primary grant writer and member of the leadership team for Los Artistas del Barrio Buffalo. He is currently the college and career counselor for the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology. His work can be found in the My Next Heart Buffalo anthology, the Boricua en la Luna writing anthology, and the Pretty Cool Poetry Thing. He likes small walks, medium-size roguelikes, and very large conversations about Hugo from the television series Lost.

Evento Virtual 

Acompáñanos para una lectura virtual de poemas escritos por Matthew Bosque, Melinda Capeles, Matthew Chevez, Joe Dejames y Julia Ramirez inspirados en la exposición especial Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration. Estos cinco poetas invitarán al público a compartir el espacio intermedio único creado por la experiencia de inmigración, un espacio que crea un nuevo hogar uniendo piezas de aquí (a donde hemos ido) y de allá (de donde somos). Será una celebración del espacio intermedio, un reclamo sobre este nuevo espacio fuera de la necesidad de un lugar específico. Los lectores hablarán sobre sus experiencias que existen fuera de las dos patrias.


Por favor inscríbase en línea. Participantes registrados recibirán un enlace para unirse al evento virtual en la mañana del programa. 

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