Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971
Worcester County Poetry Association /1 Ekman Street, Worcester, MA 01607 / 508-797-4770 / wcpaboard@yahoo.com

MASSACHUSETTS POETRY FESTIVAL 2009
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Central Massachusetts Launch
Thursday, October 15
7:00pm to 10:00pm

Worcester State College Blue Lounge
Worcester, MA

An open mic for music, spoken word, and dance, along with featured poets Dara Wier, Eve Rifkah and Ian Williams. (Go to the bios.)
At the Festival:

Poetry from the Heart of the Commonwealth

Saturday, October 17, 2009
1:00pm to 1:55pm
Lowell, MA

A reading featuring poets from Worcester county. Including such poets as Jonathan Blake whose poetry speaks of compassion and nature in overtones of praise; Susan Elizabeth Sweeney whose work plays with her namesake, the Irish mythical being named Sweeney; David Thoreen, whose poems frame the angst of everyday life; and once upon a time romance novelist, Linda Warren, who is a weaver of magical tales.

The facilitator for this Worcester County contingent is
Eve Rifkah.
October 15 - Festival Launch at various locations
October 16 to 18 - Lowell, MA

Go to the Festival Website
At the Festival:

Intercollegiate Readings & Workshops

Friday, October 16, 2009
1:00pm to 6:00pm
Lowell, MA

WCPA is sponsoring central Massachusetts students in the showcase of Massachusetts colleges: Amy Lazarus, College of the Holy Cross; Robert Connick, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Laura Crawford, Fitchburg State College graduate, Socrates Gavriel, Fitchburg State College; and Steve Smyth, Worcester State College.
(click here to go to the student bios.)

The WCPA contact for the festival intercollegiate program
is WCPA board member Ian Williams, Fitchburg State College.
STEVEN SMYTH, WORCESTER STATE COLLEGE

Steven Smyth is a non-traditional student at Worcester State College. He is a senior, an English major with a secondary education minor, and he's making a career transition from journalist and freelance writer to school teacher. He is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and he's lived in Millbury for the past eight years. He knew he wanted to be a writer from the time he was seven years old, when he wrote a short story for a school assignment and it was well received by his teacher and family and friends. He was hooked. In poetry, he loves how powerful images can be created with concise, carefully chosen language. He would describe his own poetry as darker than average, often focusing on the thin line separating life from death. He has written a number of short stories, one of which won the college's annual short fiction contest last spring, three full-length screenplays, and he enters his final semester at WSC with a 4.0 grade point average. He lives in Millbury with my wife, two stepsons, and dog Fenway
ROBERT CONNICK, WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

Bob Connick is double majoring in physics and music at Worcester Polytechnic institute. He is currently in his junior year and looks forward to another year at WPI before hopefully going to graduate school. He was born in Pembroke, MA, a small town known only, if at all, for its proximity to Boston or Cape Cod, and he has lived there his entire life. He began writing creatively around a year ago (mostly short stories), and the entire experience is still relatively new. He began writing as a way to express ideas that he did not know how to express any other way. He loves poems for their clever rhymes, although this is a skill he is still working on, as well as the messages they convey. He is fascinated by the ability to pass on emotions and images through words, and it is a skill that he hopes to improve throughout his life.
LAURA CRAWFORD, FITCHBURG STATE COLLEGE GRADUATE

Laura Crawford recently graduated from Fitchburg State College with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Psychology. She currently resides in Fitchburg, and has been writing since she was five years old and continues because she can't get the poetry out of her head.
SOCRATES GAVRIEL II, FITCHBURG STATE COLLEGE

Socrates Nicholas Gavriel II is a second year English (Secondary Ed.) major at Fitchburg State, and he calls Lowell, MA his home. He writes simply how he feels. Writing is an outlet for him to put anything he wants to say, anything he thinks, on a sheet of paper. Words give him a clearer representation of his thoughts.
AMY LAZARUS, COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS

Amy Lazarus is a senior (class of 2010) English major at the College of the Holy Cross and a native of Worcester, MA. She started writing poetry late at the recommendation of her college advisor who convinced her to take her first poetry class which he happened to be teaching. She was nervous that she would be horrible at it, but once in the class she discovered my passion for writing poetry. What primarily drives her to write are personal experiences, and lately she has been experimenting with taking something inspired by her own life and mixing it with some historical topic to make her work more universal. A strange recent discovery: she seems to write best at night, which is ironic since she is definitely a morning person!
Dara Wier's Selected Poems is just out from Wave Books.  She lives in North Amherst, Massachusetts where she edits and publishes for Factory Hollow Press, works in the MFA Program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-directs the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.  New poems can be found in Conduit, Volt, American Poetry Review, poetrysky, nostnostrums, Lit, The Nation and elsewhere.
Eve Rifkah was founding editor of the literary journal Diner and co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc., a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Her book Dear Suzanne is forthcoming from Word Tech Communications and a second book Outcasts is forthcoming from Little Pear Press.  At this time she is a professor of English at Fitchburg State College.
Ian Williams is the author of two forthcoming books: You Know Who You Are (poetry) and Not Anyone's Anything (short stories). He is a Cave Canem fellow, recipient of a Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts poetry residency, and a Palazzo Rinaldi fiction residency in Italy. Visit www.ian-williams.ca