Freshwater Poetry Festival

This year we are celebrating our Fifteenth Anniversary with an exciting Freshwater Poetry Festival!


On Friday, May 9th, at 7:00 PM, we will have a coffee house featuring the winners

of the 22nd Annual Asnuntuck Student Poetry Contest.

First Prize Winner: Jay Thumar "I Skulk In November" (Asnuntuck Community College)

Second Prize Winner: Tyler Scott "Passing Memory" (Central Connecticut State University)

Third Prize Winner: Diana Goulding "Autumn" (Ellington High School)

First Honorable Mention: Jamie Crepeau "Lonely Day" (Asnuntuck Community College)

Second Honorable Mention: Emilea Gartrell "The Ritual" (Asnuntuck Community College)

Third Honorable Mention: Julia Alexander "Denotation" (Asnuntuck Community College)


On Saturday, May 10th, we will have the following workshops available:

Gregory Coleman

“13 Ways at Looking at Revision”

Revision is a necessary and wonderful component of a poet’s life. Sometimes, we are confronted by a poem that we wish to revise but cannot find a way back into the poem and its moment of creation. We struggle with our usual approaches to revision and find ourselves making little or no progress. In this workshop, we will discuss a variety of revision techniques that can enable us to approach our poem with fresh eyes and then select one or two to help revise a poem.   Bring four copies each of four poems you would like to revise.

Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely

Adopting Another's Voice: Writing a Persona Poem

In a tradition starting officially with Browning's My Last Duchess, poets have produced wonderfully affecting "persona poems" in which they speak in the voice of a character known to or imagined by them.   After sharing our responses to several examples of the form, we will experiment with our own persona poems, choosing characters to inhabit, establishing setting and the dramatic moments or messages we wish to transmit in their voices, and completing the first stanzas of a full-length monologue with feedback from our peers.

Edwina Trentham

“Losing Heart, Finding Voice: Writing in Response to Despair”

We all face times when life seems overwhelming, when sorrow engulfs us, when we see no way out of despair.  Not surprisingly, many poets have written powerfully about facing loss and despair, and their work has been an enormous source of comfort and inspiration to others. In this workshop, we will read and discuss the work of W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Stephen Dobyns, Tess Gallagher, Robert Lowell, James Wright, and others.  We will also try our hand at writing poems that explore grief and loss, using a series of exercises.  Don’t despair!  This will not be a time of sorrow and grieving, but a time of exploration and the joy of reading the works of others who speak to us of our own pain. 

Jonathan Andersen

Go Deep, Go Long, Go Wide: Ambitious Visions in Poetry

“Show, don’t tell” is the most recognizable example of writing workshop advice. Modern writing instruction encourages the highly specific and sensuous, and with great effect: our poems abound with breathtaking renderings of intimate experience. Sometimes, though, the emphasis on the specific documentary has been achieved by discouraging poetry that dares to declaim anything approaching "truth" or to broach big human issues in the realms of political reality and philosophical inquiry. We will look at great examples of audacious contemporary poems that take on the big picture questions, and we will write poems that might include, but will extend beyond, the narrative “I.”

Margaret Gibson

Poetry and the Art of Listening

Most of us of think of listening as the job of the reader or of the audience beyond the page.  This workshop will draw attention to a variety of ways we listen:  they include the deep listening that precedes the words to the page; the internal audience addressed or implied within the poem itself;  the music we hear when the poem is read:  how that music plays us.  Workshop participants, please bring a poem to share with the group (bring at least 12 copies).  And come prepare to compose on the spot.  The humming starts now.

Sue Ellen Thompson

How to End a Poem

Is there a right or wrong way to end a poem? a better way? This workshop will focus on closure—the strategies that poets have traditionally used to bring their poems to a clear, resonant conclusion. We will also discuss anti-closure—the resistance that so many contemporary poets feel toward poems that “click shut.” If you have no trouble getting a poem started but are often stymied by when and how to end it, this is the workshop for you.

*Please bring a poem with an ending that you would like feedback on


On May 10th, We will also have a poetry reading by:

Jon Andersen, Margaret Gibson, & Sue Ellen Thompson

in the Strom Conference Room at 3:45 PM


 For More Information Click On The Link Below:

Freshwater Fifteenth Anniversary Poetry Festival Flyer

Freshwater 2013

Freshwater Poetry Journal

Where to Buy Freshwater:

Freshwater, Asnuntuck Community College - 170 Elm Street, Enfield, CT 06082, e:, p: 860-253-3105

Follett Bookstore, Asnuntuck Community College - 170 Elm Street, Enfield, CT 06082, p: 860-253-3186

Breakwater Books - 81 Whitfield Street, Guilford, CT 06437, p: (203) 453-4141




Freshwater: A Poetry Magazine Archive

Freshwater 2013

Freshwater 2012
Freshwater 2011
Freshwater 2010
Freshwater 2009
Freshwater 2008
Freshwater 2007


If you would like to be added to our mailing list please contact us  For more information, contact:

Edwina Trentham