Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is an outstanding program that offers students the opportunity to write and perform poems suitable for presentation and publication. Since 1993, student poets from all corners of Connecticut have entered this competition. The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is open to all New England high school students.
2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition
Thank you to all the high school students who participated in Hill-Stead Museum’s Fresh Voices Poetry competition and the teachers and parents who supported them. Poetry has the power to heal and bring comfort, particularly during these trying times.
United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo attests to this statement: “Poetry tends to hang out at points of transformation…when a death happens in the family, or some other grief event, or marriage, or falling in love, or falling out of love, birth—people always turn to poetry.”
Hill-Stead is thrilled to announce the 2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition Finalists, congratulations to:
- Haneen Alkabasi, Avon High School
- Alicia Chiu, William H. Hall High School
- Jake Colangelo, Joel Barlow High School
- Holden Escabi, Wethersfield High School
- Ashton Hamre, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Hannah Kim, Glastonbury High School
- Rose Kitz, William H. Hall High School
- Alexandra Melo, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Maggie Munday Odom, The Grove School
- Olatunji Osho-Williams, Westminster School
- Connie Pan, Lyme-Old Lyme High School
- Sophia Ramirez, Wilton High School
- Melanie Trotochaud, Marine Science Magnet High School
- Cindy Troung, Educational Center for the Arts
- Charlotte Watts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Lauren Young, Trinity Catholic High School
Hill-Stead Museum would like to thank this year’s Fresh Voices judges, David Caldwell, David K. Leff, and Amy Nawrocki. The judges are currently reviewing the poems by the finalists. Fresh Voices readers, Kate Doemland of Miss Porter’s School, and Jamie Perry of Avon Old Farms School thoughtfully recommended the sixteen finalists from nearly 50 poetry submissions.
- The judges will score the poets during a live reading on Thursday, June 11, from 5-7 pm. At the end of the readings, the judges will deliberate.
- The museum will announce the Fresh Voices 2020 winners, on Friday, June 12.
- Winners will read their poems live at Young Poets Day with Mahogany L. Browne at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Sunday, August 9
- In January 2020, winning poets will have their work featured on Hill-Stead’s website in the online poetry journal, Theodate
Introducing the 2020 Fresh Voices Judges
David K. Leff is an award-winning essayist; Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and Poet Laureate of Canton, Connecticut. He is the former deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. By appointment of the National Park Service, he served as poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) for 2016-17. The author of six nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry, and two novels in verse and serves a trustee of Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk, Connecticut, a non-profit working forest. David is a deputy town historian and town meeting moderator of his hometown, where he also served 26 years as a volunteer firefighter. His papers are part of the Special Collections and University Archives, UMass/Amherst. View his work at www.davidkleff.com
Amy Nawrocki is the author of six poetry collections, including most recently Mouthbrooders, released by Homebound Publications in 2019. Her work has appeared in many prints and online publications, including The Connecticut River Review, Woven Tail Press, Sixfold, The Loft Poetry Anthology, Reckless Writing Anthology, and Wildness: Voices of the Sacred Landscape. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including honors from The Hamden Arts Commission, The Connecticut Poetry Society, New Millennium Writings, and Phi Kappa Phi. Her nonfiction book, The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory, was a 2018 Foreword Review INDIES finalist for best memoir and has been awarded a Gold Medal for the Living Now Mind-Body-Spirit Awards. She teaches poetry, literature, and composition at the University of Bridgeport, where she is the chair of the English department. She lives Hamden, CT, with her husband and their two cats. Visit her at http://amynawrocki.org.
David Caldwell is Professor of English, Manchester Community College.
Introducing the 2020 Fresh Voices Readers
Hill-Stead Museum would like to thank this year’s Fresh Voices readers, Kate Doemland of Miss Porter’s School and Jamie Perry of Avon Old Farms School. The two long-time teachers thoughtfully read through over 50 poetry submissions and recommended a selection of finalists. THANK YOU!
Kate Doemland has taught English at Miss Porter’s School since 1996, working with students to develop writing skills and experiences that generate creative thinking and foster a life of the mind. She has also worked with Hill-Stead Museum over the many years as a book group facilitator. Additionally, she has offered small-group preludes to the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival readings. Kate lives in Farmington with her family and two dogs. She enjoys the outdoors and anything related to the arts!
Jamie Perry teaches English at Avon Old Farms (AOF) School. Originally from New York, he graduated from Hamilton College in 1991 before earning a Master’s from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in 2003. Before AOF, Jamie had 25 years of boarding school experience, both at another all-boys school, The Gow School, and Miss Porter’s School. In addition to teaching English, Jamie also coaches soccer. His first love, he began his coaching career immediately after college and has coached both boys and girls from his son’s youth and travel teams to the junior varsity team at Elmira College. The Perry Family are residents at Avon Old Farms—Jamie and his wife Katy, Avon’s Sustainability Director. The two live in ‘The Coop’ along with son Jacob AOF Class of 2021, daughter Devin, Renbrook School Class of 2020, and their adored hound mix Ella.
- Sophia Ciraldo – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Danny Diaz- Villafane – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Stella Georgian – East Lyme High School
- Autumn Munsell – Granby Memorial High School
- Camden Robertson – Granby Memorial High School
- Ava Varano – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Vanecia Fultz – Rockville High School
- Rachel Justice – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Sarah Lewis – Hall High School
- Ellis McGinley – Arts at the Capitol Magnet School
- Youssef Mezrioui – Rockville High School
- Alex Nordlund – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Joyce Hida, Rockville High School
- Sophia Durand, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Rachel Horowitz-Benoit, EO Smith High School
- Verne Mackoff, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Sophie Spaner, Valley Regional High School
- Owen Elphick, E.O. Smith High School
- Chloe Ezzo, Kingswood Oxford
- Leah Nashel, Westover School
- Jossary Padilla, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Abbey Rose Popolizio, Haddam-Killingworth High School
- Cole Adams, Kingswood-Oxford
- Avery Christensen, Rockville High School
- Khadija Hussain, Wilber Cross High School
- Joscelyn Norris, Westover
- Kaleigh Perkins, Rockville High School
- Shana Blatt, ACES Education Center for the Arts (New Haven)
- Colleen Feeney, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Sophia O’Brien-Udry, ACES Education Center for the Arts (New Haven)
- Taite Puhala, Westminster School (Simsbury)
- Wenell St. Hill, Great Hartford Academy of the Arts
- Julia Alexander
- Horlando De los Santos
- Trey Geisman
- Hayley Kolding
- Essence McDonald
- Alexandra Asal
- Sophie Dillon
- Shameil Dias
- Amanda Goode
- Shannon Haaland
- Ellie Woznica