Released May 1, 2017
Fourteen Quinebaug Valley Community College students, as well as another four from Quinebaug Middle College, were recipients of the 10th annual Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards and were honored at an evening of poetry readings on April 19. In attendance for the first time was the awards’ namesake, Julius Sokenu, who read several of his original poems.
Sokenu, a longtime English professor at QVCC, left in 2007 to assume a position at Moorpark College in Ventura County, California, where he is currently interim executive vice president. His departure to California inspired the creation of an annual student poetry contest in his name. Sokenu’s poems have been published in Nimrod: International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Zone Magazine. His Master’s Thesis East of Badagry won the Glendon Swarthout Award at Arizona State University. He has been an artist on the roster of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, vice chair of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and Bosselaar Family Foundation poetry scholar at the Aspen Writers Conference.