January 23, 2007

Poets & Writers At Naugatuck Event
Highlight Last Call For 07 Competition

Writers in Residence Program Takes Off

Only a few days remain to enter the 2007 IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers competition.

Forms for entering the competition, whose deadline is Feb. 1, have been mailed to all public, private and parochial secondary schools in Connecticut and also can be downloaded from the Young Writers Trust website,

For information, visit the website or call 800-814-6931.

The kickoff for the 10th annual competition — sponsored by IMPAC and the Connecticut State University system – attracted about 50 spectators at Naugatuck High School last week. The audience was treated to the sounds of the Jen Allen Jazz Combo and presentations by seven poets and writers.

Charlotte Crowe

Amy Ma

Presenters included: Charlotte Crowe, a senior at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Canton High School, who was named state prose champion in 2005 for her short story “Korean Laundry,” and Amy Ma, the 2001 state poetry champion. Ma, a graduate of Conard High School in West Hartford and Wesleyan University, is doing graduate work at Central Connecticut State University.

Elizabeth Thomas

Ravi Shankar

Established poets and writers, some of whom have been judges for the statewide contest, also read from their works. They included: Shacoya Hart, a performance poet; Elizabeth Thomas, founder of UpWords Poetry, a program for young writers; Ravi Shankar, poet in residence and assistant professor of English at Central Connecticut State University; and Jon Andersen, a teacher whose collection, “Stomp and Sing,” was published in 2005 by Curbstone Press. Also presenting was Robin Cullen, one of the women from the York Correctional Institution who studied with author Wally Lamb and collaborated on “Couldn’t Keep It to Myself: Testimonies From Our Imprisoned Sisters.”

Robin Cullen

Another highlight of the event was the announcement of a poets and writers in residence program, sponsored by the literary journal Connecticut Review. Connecticut Review is placing poets and writers in public schools, starting with Naugatuck this spring. The program will be supported by grants and corporate sponsors.
Elizabeth Thomas will be the Connecticut Review Poet-in-Residence for the Naugatuck system. Her fellowship is supported by a generous donation from Rebecca Zandvliet, a local resident and owner of Coldwell Banker real estate offices in Naugatuck, Torrington and Waterbury. Zandvliet was named the 2006 Woman of the Year by the Business Women’s Forum of Naugatuck.
The annual young writers competition, which offers $16,000 in prizes and a chance for the two top winners to attend the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award ceremonies in June, has attracted about 3,500 young entrants and has distributed more than $135,000 since 1988.

Shacoya Hart

Poets and writers in each of Connecticut’s eight counties win $1,000 prizes, awarded during ceremonies at the four CSU campuses in Willimantic, New Haven, New Britain and Danbury. The top poet and writer from that set of winners each earn a trip to Dublin with a parent for the presentation of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Dublin Writers Festival and related activities. Statewide poetry and prose champions will be announced during the annual dinner in June 2007 at the Litchfield Inn.

Jon Andersen

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.

IMPAC-Connecticut State University
Young Writers Trust
231 Beach St. Litchfield, CT 06759
* 800-814-6931 * Fax- 860-567-9119


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