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

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Wondering when your WCPA Membership expires? 
Contact us!
Manuscript Prize
Jess Locke, winner
Jessica Hoops, runner-up


Julie de Oliveira, winner
Carmellite Chamblin, runner-up

Andrew Scott Farrar
Marissa Dakin, runner-up
Travis Norris, runner-up

Allison Indyk


Yulia Issa, winner
Nicole Lucia, runner-up

Egan Millard


Orquidia Jerez, winner
Jeff Siegrist, runner-up

Jose Alegria Alberto



Emma Faye Siemasko, winner
Jared Carrasco, runner-up

Joey Kingsley, winner
Caitlin Lahey, runner-up

David Corliss, winner
Lynsey Sicksch, runner-up
Performance Prize
Jess Locke, winner



Rheannon Swire, winner
Morgan DeAngelis, runner-up

Marissa Dakin



Allison Indyk
Sarah Leidhold, runner-up

Quinn McCracken, winner
Jess Valensi, runner-up

Jighjigh Tersoo-Evase, winner
Egan Millard, runner-up

Claude-Reynald Chrisitian Lecorps, winner
Stephanie Giguere, runner-up

Jose Alegria Alberto, winner
Stephanie Giguere, runner-up


Eric Swedberg


Cody Kucker, winner
Sandy Wade, runner-up

Lynsey Sicksch, winner
Elizabeth Heath, runner-up
Sandy Wade, runner-up
Judges
Rushelle Frazier
Heather Macpherson (manuscript only)
Bob Gill (performance only)

Jenith Charpentier
Michael Fisher

Polly Brown
Tony Brown


Liz Heath
Cheryl Savageau

Jenith Charpentier
Mark Wagner

Judith Ferrara
Dan Lewis

Victor Infante
Dan Lewis

Bob Gill
Carle Johnson
Diane Mulligan

Susan Roney O'Brien
Lea C. Deschenes

Emily Ferrara
Rodger Martin

Wayne-Daniel Berard
Lea C. Deschenes
Rodger Martin
Eve Rifkah
We've partnered with Square for our online store.
About the WCPA Annual College Poetry Contest: the Elizabeth Bishop Manuscript Prize and the Etheridge Knight Performance Prize

The Worcester County Poetry Association inaugurated the College Poetry Contest in 2008 to encourage and recognize the next generation of poets.  The finalists are nominated by faculty and administrators from participating colleges in Worcester County.  Submissions are judged for the Manuscript Prize, and finalists are asked to perform two submitted poem at an event held each April for the Performance Prize.  Judges are chosen from the central Massachusetts poetry community.

In September 2018 the Worcester County Poetry Association Annual College Poetry Contest was renamed the "Elizabeth Bishop Manuscript Prize" and "Etheridge Knight Performance Prize" in honor of their connections to Worcester.   Thanks to the generosity of the Annual College Poetry Contest founder, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, the WCPA has also established an endowment with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to support and sustain this annual literary event.    More info on the renaming of the contest can be found below.

Students compete for a cash award and a one-year WCPA membership in each category. Additionally, a poem from the winning manuscript will be published in the next edition of the WCPA literary journal, The Worcester Review.

Additional information on each year's contest can be found by clicking on the year of the contest.

Past Winners of the Annual College Poetry Contest
Additional information on the renaming of the Annual College Poetry Contest

Thanks to the generosity of the Annual College Poetry Contest founder, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, the WCPA has also established an endowment with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to support and sustain this annual literary event.  Sweeney founded the annual competition in 2008 when she was the Association’s president.

Her gift will also allow the WCPA to honor two nationally and internationally known poets who were deeply influenced by Worcester: Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Neustadt Prize; and Etheridge Knight (1931-1991), winner of the American Book Award.  From now on, the two prizes awarded at the competition each year will be known as the Elizabeth Bishop Manuscript Prize and the Etheridge Knight Performance Prize. Bishop, who was born in Worcester, spent part of her childhood living there with her paternal grandparents; her famous poem, “In the Waiting Room,” begins “In Worcester, Massachusetts . . .” Knight was “Born black in Mississippi,” as he explains in “A Poem for Myself,” but he lived in Worcester in the 1970s, founded the Free People’s Poetry Workshop there, and became an important figure in the local poetry community.

You can read the press release announcing the gift here.

Contest Chair
Craig Blais



Jim Cocola
Craig Blais

Jim Cocola



Jim Cocola


Jim Cocola


Jessica Bane Robert

Ian Williams


Ian Williams



Ian Williams


Beth Sweeney


Beth Sweeney