Friday, May 04, 2007

$1,000 Winners, IMPAC-CSU Young Writers 07


Awarded at Central Connecticut State University, Mon., April 30, 2007

Hartford Prose - Anna Gallo, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, "Plan Mortem"
Hartford Poetry - Sasha Debevec-McKenney, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, "The Last Time I Played Softball, And The Last Day I Saw Your Face"

Tolland Prose- Melanie Lieberman, Rockville High School, "Mashed Potato Boy and My Fifth Grade Romance"
Tolland Poetry - Hannah Ojard, Rockville High School, "Aunt Karen"

Awarded at Western Connecticut State University, Thurs., April 26, 2007

Fairfield Prose - Lindsay Kirkham, Masuk High School in Monroe, "Grandma's Flowers"
Fairfield Poetry - Brianna Halek, Brookfield High School, "The Greatest Act"

Litchfield Prose- Emma Gaedeke, Northwestern Regional High School in Winsted, "Beyond The Bench"
Litchfield Poetry - Chelsea Macary, Wamogo Regional High School, "Through Eyes Bigger Than She"

Awarded at Eastern Connecticut State University, Tues., April 24, 2007

New London Prose - Valerie Doughty, Ledyard High School, "M'Athair Fhin"
New London Poetry - Nicole Rubin, Norwich Free Academy, "Pineapple"

Windham Prose- Kianne Gaylor, Woodstock Academy, "Second Chances"
Windham Poetry- Hilary Osborn, Arts at the Capitol Theater, "Music Is A Slut"

Awarded at Southern Connecticut State University, Mon., April 23, 2007

Middlesex Prose - Jennifer Angier, Middletown Adult Education, "Passing Through"
Middlesex Poetry - Elizabeth Santovasi, Old Saybrook High School, "Banksy's Girl"

New Haven Prose - Kathleen Riedel, Pomperaug High School, "The Flame"
New Haven Poetry -Maya Polan, Education Center for the Arts, "Unruly Sonnets Written in a Midwestern Key"


$17,000 & Dublin Trip
For Young Writers

10th Annual IMPAC-CSU Competition

Four Regional Events & Annual Dinner
$150,000 Milestone Noted

Litchfield, Conn. May 4, 2007 - County finalists for the 10th annual IMPAC-CSU Young Writers competition have been honored during regional ceremonies in which 16 prose and poetry winners will received $1,000 checks last month at the four CSU System campuses.

[Complete list of 2007 county finalists is posted @ Following that is a list of all state and county winners since 1998.]

County winners will also be honored during the 10th annual dinner June 1 at the Litchfield Inn. The state winners in prose and poetry will be announced then and invited to a week of festivities in Ireland connected with the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Dublin Writers Festival. Their work will also be considered for publication in Connecticut Review, the literary journal published by the CSU System.

[Invitation to annual dinner at bottom of this text.]

The IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust has given more than $150,000 to Connecticut's best young writers. About 4,000 students have participated in the program.

IMPAC, a leading productivity firm, also endows the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which at 100,000 Euros is the world's largest prize for a single work of fiction.

IMPAC Chairman Jim Irwin and retired CSU Chancellor Bill Cibes expanded the Young Writers Program from Litchfield County to cover the entire state in 2000. Chancellor David Carter, formerly president of Eastern Connecticut State University, has been a champion for the program and has undertaken initiatives to expand participation.

The CSU System serves more than 35,000 students, making it the largest public university system in Connecticut. A total of 166 academic programs are offered throughout the system, and more than 5,000 degrees are awarded annually.

Two dynamic poets and writers -- a graduate student at Central Connecticut State University and a high school English teacher -- will be the keynote speakers for the 10th annual dinner.

Amy Ma, the 2001 state poetry champion in the IMPAC-CSU competition and a graduate of West Hartford's Conard High School, went on to major in English at Wesleyan University. There, she completed a short story collection while mentored by the writer Kit Reed. Currently, she is working to obtain her Connecticut teaching certification at Central.

"I am making an interesting living as a makeup artist and counter manager for Nordstrom cosmetics," Ma said. "The game plan is to teach high school English, attend law school, open a rock-and-roll-themed makeup boutique with my best friend, and sooner or later run away to New York to adventure and write. I remain enslaved by poetry and accept my fate as such."

Ma will be certified in fall of 2008 to teach English at a public middle-or high-school in Connecticut. Her current projects include singing backup for a blues-rock band and performing at / attending open-mic nights with a group of young people in Hartford.

"I love music, the written and spoken word, and keeping busy," Ma said. "Being in a New Britain middle school regularly has only increased my belief that kids have much to say and fresh viewpoints that need to be encouraged, so I hope as a teacher I can help them get interested in both reading and getting their ideas out."

Jon Andersen, Ma's fellow keynote speaker, is an acclaimed poet and a teacher with a track record of affirming and nurturing young writers.

Andersen's debut book of poetry, Stomp and Sing, was published by Curbstone Press of Willimantic in 2005. The poems in Stomp and Sing illuminate the concerns and aspirations of the new working class generation, and serve as an imagistic autobiography. Clear and direct, narrative and lyrical, they take us from mountaintops to local cafes, from lumberyards to town sidewalks, and range in theme from the impact of racism to the consolation of nature.

His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Connecticut Review, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, The Progressive, and Rattle.

Luis Rodriguez, author of Always Running, writes: "Jon Andersen's poems sing of a life lived, devoured, explored, and awake. Who writes like this anymore? Oh, for more Jon Andersens in our midst, to remind us we are more complex, nuanced, and meaningful than many are daring to be."

Andersen was born in 1970 in New London. He currently lives with his wife and family in Willimantic and teaches at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs. Many of Andersen's students have been county finalists and prize winners in the IMPAC-CSU competition.

Building on the tradition begun by novelist Wally Lamb, Ma and Andersen will conduct a workshop for the county winners prior to the annual dinner.

Co-Masters of Ceremonies for the annual dinner will be author Rand Cooper and Ravi Shankar, poet in residence and professor of English at Central. Cooper and Shankar have served as judges for the competition for more than half a dozen years.

Poets and writers in each of Connecticut's eight counties win $1,000 prizes annually, awarded during ceremonies at the four CSU campuses. About a dozen finalists in
prose and poetry from each county are invited to the regional ceremonies.

Past speakers for the annual dinner have included novelist Wally Lamb, Central's Poet in Residence Ravi Shankar, CSU Professor Vivian Shipley, writer and radio talk show host Colin McEnroe, writer and SCSU Professor Audrey Kerr, poets Gray Jacobik, Kate Rushin, Franz Douskey, Rennie McQuilken and Richard Blanco, Connecticut Poet Laureates Leo Connellan and Marilyn Nelson, novelist Bruce Clements, French linguist Cheryl Demharter, Special Assistant to the United Nations Secretary General, Natalie Hahn, National Review Managing Editor Priscilla Buckley, ABC Nightline Correspondent Dave Marash, Brian Ross, Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News, statewide prose champions Candi Deschamps of Danbury and Emily Dykes of Montville, statewide poetry champions Amy Ma and Adrian Kudler of West Hartford, Emily Madsen of Avon and two-time county poetry champion Jennifer Steele of Middletown.

In addition, a pilot program for writers of French and Spanish awards up to $1,000 in prizes to competitors from Litchfield and Wamogo High Schools.Discussions are continuing to expand that program, which is co-sponsoredby the Litchfield-Morris Rotary.

Judges for the competition have included Susan Gilmore, Jenny Minton, Norm Pattis, Terese Karmel, Christine Palm, Dan Pope, Rand Cooper, Jack Daley, Jeff Mock, Pit Pinegar, Jim Scrimgeour, Sandra Ebner, Faith Vicinanza, Franz Douskey, Diane Smith, Colin McEnroe, Vita Muir, Elizabeth Thomas, Cheryl Demharter, Jessica Treat, Estela Lopez , Kate Rushin, Sylvie Glickstein, Lieve Keeney, Carol Kearns, Ravi Shankar, Joe Bentivegna, Larry Cohen, Dale Salm, Vivian Shipley, Rennie McQuilken, Charley Monagan, Susanne Davis, Ron Samul, Jill Weinberger, Denning Powell, Ron Winter, Priscilla Buckley, Kat Lyons, John McNicholas, Dick Slawsky, Anson Smith, Malo Forde, Leo Connellan, Marilyn Nelson, Vince Valvo and John Surowiecki.

Thanks to the wisdom and generosity of our sponsors, we have been able to maintain this program for 10 years.

Special thanks to sponsors who have supported us at levels allowing The Trust to send state champions in prose and poetry and parents to Dublin for activities connected with the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awardand the Dublin Writers Festival.

Sponsors for the grand prizes include Tomasso Brothers Inc. of New Britian, Litchfield Bancorp, Meehan, Meehan &Gavin of Bridgeport, Torrington Savings Bank, Halloran & Sage LLP of Hartford and Philip Russell P.C.of Greenwich.

Tomasso Brothers sponsors the trip to Dublin for the poetry champion and a parent of the student.

Sponsoring the prose champion and a parent are President & CEO Mark Macomber of Litchfield Bancorp, Atty. Rich Meehan of Meehan, Meehan & Gavin of Bridgeport, Jeffrey A. Lalonde, President & CEO of Torrington Savings Bank, Atty. Ken Slater of Halloran & Sage LLP of Hartford and Atty. Philip Russell of Philip Russell P.C. of Greenwich.

Mark Macomber of Litchfield Bancorp was the first sponsor of the Young Writers Program. Founding sponsors include: David and Ginger Dean of Litchfield County Commercial, Diane Blick of The Business Center, Connecticut Cut Flowers and the Litchfield Inn.

Sustaining sponsors include Jeff Lalonde of Torrington Savings Bank, Dr. Joseph Bentivegna, Del Eberhardt of Touchstone Applied Science Services, Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Collins Hardwood Flooring, JCL Pro Tree, Atty. Jack Horak of Reid & Riege, Atty. Richard Meehan, Atty. Stephanie Weaver, Atty. Philip Russell, Atty. Ken Slater, La Cupola Ristorante, Aspen Garden Restaurant, Bill McGurk of Rockville Savings Bank, Tomasso Brothers, Education Connection, Sandy Taylor and Judy Doyle of Curbstone Press, Globe-Pequot Press, Vincent Valvo of the Hartford Business Journal, Frank Morse of Carter Morse &Company, Bantam Fuel, Casa Bacchus, A Frame Come True, Spino's Men's Wear, Litchfield County Superintendent's Association,The Warner Theater, The Village Restaurant, Dr. Robert Van Wyck, the Hickory Stick Book Shop, Aldrich, Perkins & Co., Michael J. London &Associates, Atty. A. Paul Spinella, Atty. Norm Pattis, Brewer Consulting, Whitlock Farms Booksellers, Murphy Real Estate, The Workshop, Association of Productivity Specialists, Black Rock Medical Group, Mayo Crowe LLC, Newman Creed & Associates, DiFranco's Restaurant and Pizzeria and the Rainy Faye Bookstore & Gallery.

Board members of the Young Writers Trust are: F. Lee Bailey, Lynn Baker, Joe Bentivegna, Diane Blick, David Carter, Bill Cibes, Franz Douskey, Del Eberhardt, Diane Smith, John Tindall-Gibson, Andy Thibault, Stephanie Weaver and Lauren Weisberg-Kaufman. Ex-officio: Allen Hoffman, Connecticut Commissionon Culture & Tourism.

IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust
Andy Thibault, Chairman
231 Beach St.
Litchfield, CT 06759
* Fax: 860-567-9119 * Cell 860-690-0211







Seating Limited
You are cordially invited to attend the 10TH Annual IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Statewide Ceremony & Dinner

Friday, June 1, 2007
The Litchfield Inn and Bistro East
4 p.m. Workshops
5-6:15 p.m. Reception
6:30 p.m. Dinner

Special Guests
Amy Ma, 2001 State Poetry Champion, Graduate student, CCSU
Jon Andersen, poet, English teacher

Co-Masters of Ceremonies
Rand Richards Cooper, Author; Ravi Shankar, Poet in Residence; Professor, CCSU

Reception Entertainment
Jen Allen Jazz Combo

Dinner: $35 per person

Dinner Music by the Litchfield High Jazz Combo

RSVP by May 25, 2007

No comments: