Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971
Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / wcpaboard@yahoo.com

2010 Annual Poetry Contest: The Frank O'Hara Prize
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Illustration by Lilyan Bachrach
2010 Contest Winners


First Prize - Curt Curtin
of Worcester, MA
“After Auden’s Musee des Beaux Arts”

Second Prize - Anne Marie Lucci
of Worcester, MA
“Lost at 25”

Third Prize - Missy  Hall Nicholson
of Grafton, MA
“Mommy Cry”

Honorable Mention

Stephen Campiglio
of Fiskdale, MA
“Sample”

Jina Ortiz
of Worcester, MA
“Miss Botswana”

Ian Williams
of Fitchburg, MA
“Schumann’s Arabesque, Op. 18”

Judith Robbins
of Whitefield, ME
“First Cigarette”

2010 Contest Judge
Barbara Helfgott Hyett


Winning poems appear in
The Worcester Review, Volume XXXI



2010 Contest Chair
Francine D'Alessandro
WCPA 2010 Poetry Contest: Frank O'Hara Prize

Winners' Reading
was held on
Sunday, September 12

First Unitarian Church Bancroft Room
90 Main Street, Worcester
The Frank O'Hara Prize

American Poet Frank O’Hara (1926-1966) grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts, attended St. John’s High School in Worcester and studied piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston. After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, O’Hara returned to musical studies at Harvard through the GI Bill.  His love of contemporary music and visual art led to an interest in poetry. Frank O’Hara graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a degree in English, attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and moved the New York where he found work at the Museum of Modern Art. O’Hara had known John Ashbery at Harvard and now joined Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and others in what became known as the New York School of poets.  O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency (1956) and Lunch Poems (1964) reflect the inspiring energy and excitement of the New York art scene which included literary friends and artists such as Larry Rivers, Jackson Pollock, and Jasper Johns. O’Hara wrote essays and reviews for ArtNews,  as well as writing for various Museum of Modern Art publications. Frank O’Hara died in an accident while vacationing on Fire Island.

In a ceremony held at The Worcester Art Museum on November 19, 2009, The Worcester County Poetry Association annual poetry contest, established in 1973, was named the “WCPA Poetry Contest: The Frank O’Hara Prize “ in honor of Frank O’Hara  and in grateful recognition of The O’Hara Family for its support of the literary community.

Go to the Frank O'Hara page.
Stephen Campiglio, a full descendant from the Italian region of Abruzzo, was a longtime resident of Worcester and now lives in Fiskdale, MA. Since 2005, he has worked for Credit-Free Programs at Manchester Community College, CT, where he also founded and coordinates the Mishi-maya-gat Spoken Word & Music Series. His poems and prose poems have appeared in Calapooya, Ekphrasis, The Literary Review, The Lumberyard Journal, Natural Bridge, Paragraph, Switched-on Gutenberg, and Urban Spaghetti, with work forthcoming in an anthology from Star Cloud Press, New Hungers for Old: 100 Years of Italian American Poetry. He was the featured poet in the Summer ‘08 issue of Italian Americana and a 2009 finalist for the Bordighera Poetry Book Publication Prize.

Curt Curtin has published two collections of poems. Poems and short satire have appeared in several journals and two anthologies. He won the 2005 Jacob Knight Award in poetry and was nominated for a pushcart prize in 2008 for a work in The Worcester Review.

Poet, professor and public lecturer, Barbara Helfgott Hyett has published five collections of poetry:  In Evidence: Poems of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps, (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press), Natural Law  (Northland) The Double Reckoning of  Christopher  Columbus  (U.Illinois), The Tracks We Leave: Poems on Endangered Wildlife of North America, (U.Illinois),and Rift.(Univ. of Arkansas). Her poems and essays have appeared in major journals and magazines including The New Republic, The  Nation, Hudson Review, Agni, Ploughshares, and The Women's  Review of  Books. Recipeint of many awards and honors, most recently the 2009 Father John Fellowship  given by The Boston Foundation. She is the Director of POEMWORKS: The Workshop for Publishing Poets, in Brookline, MA.

Anne Marie Lucci lives and writes in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has published in Syracuse Review, Worcester Magazine, Omnivore, Vox Poetica, The Lancaster Times, and Sahara - A Journal of New England Poetry. She founded and has been the host of the poetry venue The Street Beat for the past ten years. This poem was a product of writing workshops she has taken for fifteen years at the Worcester Art Musuem with poet Jim Beschta, who greatly influences her ability to produce well-crafted poems.

Missy Hall Nicholson lives in Grafton, MA with husband, Bill, and children, Kat and Will. She is a grant writer at the Worcester Art Museum.

Jina Ortiz is a MFA candidate at Pine Manor College.  Her poetry has been published in the Sahara, Afro-Hispanic Review, Calabash, Poui, New Millennium Writings, The Caribbean Writer and New Works Review, Solstice Literary Magazine, Worcester Review, amongst others.  She has received many residency fellowships, including the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), the Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center and a fellowship grant from the Worcester Cultural Commission. 

Judith Robbins and her husband Jonathan Robbins met when both were reporters for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in the '60s. They married and migrated to Maine, where they raised four children and grew their own food, all but living off the grid. She has been writing poems all her life and has published in many journals and magazines, from The American Scholar to the Dudley Review to Christianity & Literature. She is pastor of a multi-denominational church in the village of Sheepscot, Maine.

Ian Williams is the author of You Know Who You Are (poems) and the forthcoming Not Anyone's Anything (stories). He is an English professor at Fitchburg State College. www.ian-williams.ca
Second Prize winner Anne Marie LucciContest Judge Barbara Helfgott HyettBarbara Helfgott Hyett signing books during the reception.First Prize winner Curt Curtin.Curt Curtin visits with friends during the reception.Ian Williams (Honorable Mention)Jina Ortiz and Barbara Helfgott HyettJina Ortiz and Rev. Catherine ReedJina Ortiz (Honorable Mention)Judith Ferrara and K-Fai SteeleJudith Robbins (Honorable Mention)Third Prize winner Missy Hall Nicholson's poem was read by her sister, Shelly.Stephen Campiglio (Honorable Mention) with Anne Marie and Barbara Lucci.
Brief Bios
Photos from the Winners' Reading
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