QVCC Celebrates Julius Sokenu Poetry Award Winners

Congratulations to the eleven Quinebaug Valley Community College students and five Quinebaug Middle College students who were recipients of this year’s Julius Sokenu Poetry Awards.

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.


First Prize: “We Are Not So Different from a Goose” by Taylor Lynn Copeland

Second: “Vision of a Red-Faced God” by John Bogue

Third: “Peephole” by Sara Green

Honorable Mention: “Holiness” by Celeste Fournier

Honorable Mention: “The Color Red” by Dakotah Dwyer-Matson


Spanish: Heritage Speakers

First: “Despedida de una amiga al cielo” by Joaris Santiago Cancel

Second: “No Encuentro Solución” by Fabian Sosa-Mangual


Spanish: Non-Heritage Speakers

First: “Rosas Simplemente Flores” by Rowan Coleman

Second: “Ascendencia Celestial” by Taylor Lynn Copeland

Third: “Cuando lo usemos” by Will Brin

Honorable Mention: “Sobre Amistad” by Caitlin Barclay



First: “To Forgive” by Jennifer Oldroyd

Second: “Trapped” by Andrew George

Third: “Silent Storms” by Abby Fowler

Honorable Mention: “Firefly” by Evey Wehner

Honorable Mention: “Alone” by Sierra Girard


Spanish Judges:

Maria Garcia Alvarez, Gloria Rivera, Jakob Spjut

English Judges

Scott DeShong, Michelle Jones, Jessica Porzuzcek, Mark Szantyr