Fresh Voices 2021 Judges Announced

Meet our Fresh Voices Judges

Hill-Stead is delighted to announce our 2021 Fresh Voices judges, Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Luisa Caycedo-Kimura, and Sophie Spaner. The judges will review the poems by this year’s finalists. Please enjoy their incredible bios.

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II (left) is an educator and activist passionate about achieving community augmentation through literary arts. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His works have been selected as finalists for the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) Poet of the Year Award. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has received various poetry awards, including the Nutmeg Poetry Award and the 2020 Connecticut Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/Creative Non-Fiction. Knowles holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University and penned BlackRoseCity, a poetry book. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura (center) is a Colombian-born writer, translator, and educator. Her honors include a John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship at the Anderson Center, an Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellowship at Ragdale, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she has received various poetry awards. A former attorney, Caycedo-Kimura left the legal profession to pursue her passion for writing. She holds an MFA from Boston University. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati ReviewSunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, RHINO, Diode, Shenandoah, Mid-American ReviewNashville Review, The Night Heron Barks, Louisiana Literature, among others. Currently, she is an Assistant Editor for the Connecticut River Review.

Sophie Spaner (right) is an 18-year-old writer, singer-songwriter, and artist from Deep River, Connecticut. She was a Fresh Voices Poet in 2017. She is currently taking a gap year and will be attending Yale University in the fall, where she plans to major in Film and Media Studies. During her gap year, she has been working as a quality control consultant for both foreign and American independent films with the international film distributor Kino Lorber. In her free time, she enjoys learning new instruments and expanding her artistic practice.

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