Rhodora Penaranda Rhodora Penaranda will read her original work at the next Poetry on the Loose event.  The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 1 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 6 Orchard Street (at Main) in Middletown.  Her presentation will be followed by an open reading during which anyone may participate.   

Penaranda has written short stories as well, but finds what she calls the “pithy intensity of poetry” more suitable to her nature.  Her work has been collected in the volumes Touchstone and Unmasking Medusa.   

Originally from the Philippines, Penaranda was at first under the impression, as she says, that she wanted to be “a woman of the material world.”  She worked in retail, then in journalism and public relations before deciding she had to “commit to art, or perish.” 

Of her writing, Penaranda says, “Coming home to poetry and finding the art and language of others are a way of coming home to myself and making something of my past,  maybe even transforming it.  I’ve come close to closing the book on myself; art is my way of opening it again, to be daring, inventive; to find that love again as a self-expressing creature in this world we live in.” 

The October 6 Poetry on the Loose reading will feature Sally Rhoades.

The Poetry on the Loose Reading/Performance series is supported this year with funding from Orange Arts/Orange County Tourism and the County of Orange.