A group of talented New England poets will gather in Café II at Asnuntuck Community College, 170 Elm Street, Enfield, Connecticut, on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at 7:00 PM, to read their poetry in the eleventh annual Freshwater Poets Coffee House. The poets are all featured in the 2013 issue of Asnuntuck’s internationally known poetry journal, Freshwater, which will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in May 2014. The journal is put together by student editors working in a poetry magazine production class with Edwina Trentham, Professor Emerita of English. The editors read approximately two thousand poems, submitted by poets throughout the United States and the world, to select seventy to eighty poems to be published in Freshwater. Each issue also includes poems by annual winners of the Asnuntuck Student Poetry Contest, open to the twelve Connecticut Community Colleges, the Connecticut Public Universities, and selected Connecticut local high schools. The Twenty-First Annual Contest was judged by award winning poet Gray Jacobik.
This year’s readers are from many different backgrounds, and the work they will read is rich and varied. Caitlin Breen, the first prizewinner in the Twenty-First Annual Asnuntuck Student Poetry contest, is a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University, studying English and Elementary Education; Heidi Dube, who won honorable mention in the Twenty-First Annual Asnuntuck Student Poetry Contest, is a member of the Granby Writers Guild; poet Roberta Whitman Hoff, who works for The Work Opportunity Center, has been published in Beneath the Surface, Caduceus 10, and Fresh Ink; Susan Johnson, the author of a chapbook Impossible Is Nothing, whose poetry has also been published in a variety of periodicals, is a Senior Lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; poet Deborah Matusko is a graduate of Asnuntuck Community College, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Bay Path College; Leslie McGrath’s first poetry collection, Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage (2009) was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, and her poetry has been widely published in the United States and abroad; Pat O’Brien is an award winning poet from Old Saybrook, whose collection of poetry, When Less Than Perfect Is Enough, was published by Antrim House in 2012; Lana Orphanides, from Groton, is a poet and painter, who has exhibited her work and done many readings throughout Connecticut, including at the Mystic Arts Café and the Hygienic Gallery in New London. Steve Parlato, from Waterbury, is an Assistant Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College, who has won many prizes and has read his work extensively. His young adult novel, The Namesake, which won a 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices, was published this year by Merit Press, a new Imprint of F+W/Adams Media.; Brie Quartin, a former editor of Freshwater, won Second Prize in the Twenty-First Annual Asnuntuck Student Poetry Contest; Lisa Schneier is Visiting Professor of Education at Emmanual College in Boston, Massachusetts, and her thesis research on high school students’ learning about poetry is published in Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain; John Surowiecki, the author of four books of poetry, the latest being Flies, published by Ugly Duckling Presse, has also published six chapbooks, and his poetry has appeared in many periodicals. Elizabeth Szewczyk, an adjunct instructor at Asnuntuck Community College, has published two books of poetry, This Becoming and On burying Moths and Calendars, and her work has also been published in a number of periodicals. Refreshments will be served, and the reading is free and open to the public. Copies of books by many of the featured poets, as well as copies of Freshwater 2013, will be on sale. An open poetry mic will be part of the reading. For more information contact Edwina Trentham at 860-253-3105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.