Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971
2016 College Poetry Competition
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9th Annual College Poetry Competition Finalists' Reading
Sunday, April 10, 2016      Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room
About the Competition

The Worcester County Poetry Association inaugurated the College Poetry Competition in 2008 to encourage and recognize the next generation of poets.  The finalists are nominated by faculty and administrators at colleges in Worcester County.

Submissions are judged for the Manuscript Prize and finalists are asked to perform one submitted poem  for the Performance Prize.

Students compete for a cash award and a one-year WCPA membership in each category. The winning    entry for the Manuscript Prize will be Fall 2015 WCPA literary journal, The Worcester Review
Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / wcpaboard@yahoo.com

Finalist Bios

Anna Maria College: Andrew Scott Farrar, Paxton, Massachusetts
Andrew Scott Farrar grew up in Paxton, Massachusetts, and moved away after high school to work and travel. After spending a couple of years in Boston, he moved back to Central Mass to return to his education. Reading and writing have always been definitive hobbies of his, that along with traveling.

Assumption College: Marissa Dakin, Pembroke, Massachusetts
Marissa Dakin is a sophomore at Assumption College originally from Pembroke, Massachusetts. She is a English Literature and Political Science double major with minors in Spanish and philosophy. Her hobbies include dyeing her hair and forgetting every interesting thing about her when people ask what she does for fun.

Clark University: Sarah Wells, Montpelier, VT
As an English Major (with double minors in Physics and Computer Science) writing has always been an important part of my life. I started writing poetry when I was very young and simply never grew tired of it. With my different areas of study I often find myself writing poetry that involves aspects of science as a way to connect all the subjects I love so much!

College of the Holy Cross: Dani Burford, La Crescenta, California
Dani Burford is a senior English major at the College of the Holy Cross, where she is writing a collection of poems entitled Voice Box for her honors thesis.  She is a California native whose hometown of La Crescenta
is nestled just outside the city of Los Angeles.  Besides using her writing to chronicle her life adventures, Dani also collects rocks from every place she has ever visited.

Fitchburg State University: Roxxanna Kurtz, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Roxxanna Kurtz is from Fitchburg, Massachusetts where she currently lives with a tall British man and two cats (one’s a bit odd while the other is secretly a dragon). I have been writing since the fourth grade, with well over a thousand pieces to my name. Some of my published works can be found in an edition of the Marble Collection and three volumes of Route 2.

MCPHS University: Allison McFarland, Plainville, Massachusetts
Allie McFarland is in her third year at MCPHS University, majoring in Health Psychology. Originally from Plainville, MA, Allie's creative interests include poetry, sketch comedy, and playwriting.

WPI: Travis Norris, Austin, Texas
Travis Norris is a sophomore at WPI double majoring in Robotics Engineering and Writing. He is originally from Austin, Texas, but is involved at WPI in improv comedy, the admissions office, and various clubs. Travis views writing as an opportunity to express stories that otherwise wouldn’t be shared.

Worcester State University: Melissa Dognazzi, Worcester, Massachusetts
Melissa Dognazzi is a practicing writer with a focused passion in the arts community. Although she initially wanted to chase the life of a performer, she has discovered her place among literary artists in her work as a poet, grant writer, and arts reviewer.
Contest Judges

A member of Boston's long-standing Every Other Thursday Poets, Polly Brown has two chapbooks, Blue Heron Stone, and Each Thing Torn From Any of Us. She taught for 25 years at Touchstone Community School in Grafton, and blogs about the daily texture of progressive education at ayeartothinkitover.com. She won the Worcester County Poetry Award about a million years ago. Recent poems have appeared in The Worcester Review, Clade Song, and Soundings East.

Tony Brown is a Worcester based poet who has read at, performed at, and run poetry events all over the US for the last thirty years.  A four time Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has been published in many anthologies and journals, he has also had a long-standing association with the national poetry slam community. Currently, he also fronts the poetry and music ensemble The Duende Project, who are in the process of recording their sixth album.  A new chapbook, The Embers, will be published by Tired Hearts Press this year.


Contest Chair

Jim Cocola is an Associate Professor of Literature, Film, and Media in the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and has also served on the faculty of the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College. His essays and poems have appeared in publications including the minnesota review, n+1, Polis, VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, and The Worcester Review.
Congratulations to the Winners

Manuscript Prize
Andrew Scott Farrar
Marissa Dakin (runner-up)
Travis Norris (runner-up)

Performance Prize
Marissa Dakin

Thank you to all the finalists, our judges, Polly Brown and
Tony Brown, and to organizer Jim Cocola for their hard work.


Finalists (bios for each finalist can be found below)
Anna Maria College: Andrew Scott Farrar

Assumption College: Marissa Dakin

Clark University: Sarah Wells

College of the Holy Cross: Dani Burford

Fitchburg State University: Roxxanna Kurtz

MCPHS University: Allison McFarland

WPI: Travis Norris

Worcester State University: Melissa Dognazzi

Judges (bios below)                                    Contest Chair (bio below)
Polly Brown and Tony Brown                                               Jim Cocola
Finalists with organizer Jim Cocola and judges Polly Brown and Tony BrownAndrew Scott Farrar of Anna Maria College
winner of the Manuscript PrizeMarissa Dakin of Assumption College
winners of the Performance Prize
runner-up of the Manuscript PrizeSarah Wells of Clark UniversityDani Burford of the College of the Holy CrossRoxxanna Kurtz of Fitchburg State UniversityAllison McFarland of MCPHS UniversityTravis Norris of WPI
runner-up of the Manuscript PrizeMelissa Dognazzi of Worcester State University
Polly Brown, judgeTony Brown, judgeJim Cocola, 2016 college contest organizer
Photos by Bob Gill
Photos from the 2016 College Poetry Contest - Sunday, April 10 at Worcester Public Library
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