Worcester County Poetry Association
Established 1971
2019 College Poetry Competition
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12th Annual College Poetry Competition Finalists' Reading
Saturday, April 6, 2019       Worcester Popup, 20 Franklin Street, Worcester
The Nominees

Paula Kneeland, of Anna Maria College and Worcester, MA

Kate Brice, of Assumption College and Colchester, CT

Dani Black, of Clark University and Middleboro, MA

Amber John, of the College of Holy Cross and Austin, TX

Ariele Lee, of Fitchburg State University and Beverly, MA

Jesse Madore, of MCPHS and Salem, NH

Erica Gilman, of Worcester State University
   and North Brookfield, MA

Michael Clements, of WPI and Exeter, NH
Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / wcpaboard@yahoo.com

Susan Roney-O'Brien
Ashley Wonder
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Student Bios

Paula Kneeland is a resident of Worcester, MA and an advanced standing graduate student in Anna Maria College's Masters of Social Work Program. She is President of the MSW Student Forum and student representative of the MSW Social Work Advisory Board. After graduation, Paula would like to pursue a clinical career in forensic social work with a concentration in social justice and substance use. Writing random poetry is part of her self-care routine.

Poetry has long been a source of therapy and healing for Kate Brice. She is currently a senior chemistry major at Assumption College, and has only ever taken two creative writing courses. She is from Colchester, Connecticut, and she plans to pursue writing on the side, however informally that may be.

Dani Black is from Middleboro, Massachusetts. She is currently a sophomore at Clark University and studies Creative Writing, Psychology, Women and Gender studies, and Comparative Race and Ethnic studies.

Amber John is a sophomore English and History major at Holy Cross, a member of The Purple literary magazine, and a pre-law student. She comes all the way from Austin, Texas, and hopes to write professionally.

Ariele Lee was born and raised in Beverly, MA. She is a Communications Major/English Minor at Fitchburg State University. She spends most of her time in the car commuting from school because she decided to go to school that was two hours away!

Jesse Madore was born and raised in Salem, NH and is a lover of writing, reading, and dog petting.  Jesse attends Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS University) . 

Erica Gilman is finishing up her undergraduate studies in Sociology and English at Worcester State State and heading to Rhode Island for a graduate degree in married and family therapy at the University of Rhode Island. She enjoys cycling through small towns, doing hot yoga, and traveling to different coffee shops.

Michael Clements was born and raised around Exeter, New Hampshire. He is currently seeking a degree in Computer Science and a minor in English. In addition to writing and reading poetry, he enjoys participating in the marching band.
Judge's Bios

Susan Roney-O’Brien lives in Princeton, MA, works with international students and young writers, curates a monthly poetry venue, and is part of 4 X 4, a group of visual artists and poets. She is the Summer Writing Series Coordinator for The Stanley Kunitz Boyhood Home. Her poetry has been published widely and translated into Braille and Mandarin and been nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes. Publications include two chapbooks: Farmwife, the winner of the William and Kingman Page Poetry Book Award, and Earth published by Cat Rock Press. WordTech published Legacy of the Last World in 2016. Aldrich Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books, published Bone Circle, in December 2018. Kelsay Books will publish Thira, a new collection based on ancient Minoan culture, in March, 2020.

Ashley Wonder has been writing for over ten years. Performing professionally for the past five with dynamic passion to give hope to her audiences.  She became apart of the Slam Community in  2014. Repping Worcester her hometown, in Oakland 2015, Decatur, GA 2016.  Earned Iron Poet Champion held in Worcester, MA at Ralph's Diner.   Performed 2019 Women Of Consequence City Hall in Worcester.  She has featured in Troy, New York at Poetic Vibe, all around MA, Boston (Hard Rock Cafe), RI including many colleges and universities such as Holy Cross, Wheelock among others.  She enjoys teaching poetry workshops to youth of all ages to show how fun and interactive Spoken Word can be. She also believes in the power of tea and naps.

Contest Chair's Bio

Craig Blais is the author of About Crows (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, and the Florida Book Award. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, The Southern Review, Western Humanities Review, Yale Review, and elsewhere. Craig’s work has been finalist for the Walt Whitman Award and the National Poetry Series. He earned his MFA from Wichita State University and PhD from Florida State University, and he is Assistant Professor of English at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts.
Contest Chair
Craig Blais
Anna Maria College

Congratulations to the winners of the
2019 College Poetry Contest Reading

Etheridge Knight Performance Prize
Kate Brice of Assumption College
Amber John of the College of the Holy Cross (runner-up)

Elizabeth Bishop Manuscript Prize
Dani Black of Clark University
Ariele Lee of Fitchburg State University (runner-up)
2019 College Contest participants, judges, and chair.Contest chair Craig Blais kicks off the event.Judge Susan Roney-O'Brien reads a poem.Our second judge for 2019, Ashley Wonder, also reads a poem.Paula Kneeland, of Anna Maria College Kate Brice, of Assumption College Dani Black, of Clark UniversityAmber John, of the College of Holy CrossJesse Madore, of MCPHSErica Gilman, of Worcester State UniversityMichael Clements, of WPI Ann Lewis and Deb Ellstrom chat with Paula Kneeland of Anna Maria College during the reception.Michael Clements, of WPI, and a friend chat with Kate McIntyre, editor of The Worcester Review, during the break.Judges Ashley Wonder and Susan Roney-O'Brien confir with contest chair Craig Blais.WCPA president invites the participants to an upcoming event.
Photos courtesy of Robert Steele and Bob Gill