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National Poetry Month celebration at WCSU

Breathing Space graphic

Breathing Space graphicDANBURY, CONN. — During the month of April, Western Connecticut State University will host several events to celebrate National Poetry Month, all of which are open to the public.

National Poetry Month events will include:

Beginning Monday, April 3, 2023: The Breathing Space Broadsides Series, a collaboration of student and faculty poets and artists, will be released on the WCSU campus and online at www.wcsu.edu. The series will be displayed on various television screens and broadsides around the campus. Poems by campus poets have been interpreted and illustrated by student artists. The pairings are as follows (name of poem, poet’s name, followed by artist’s name): “To Tend a Garden Growing,” Creative Writing student Ana Bourque, of East Hartland, and M.F.A. in Visual Arts student Anthony DeZinno, of East Hampton; “A Bowl of Fruit on My Mind,” Journalism & Public Relations major Meaghan Canavan, of Fishkill, New York, and M.F.A. in Visual Arts student Andrew Mark, of Hopewell Junction, New York; “Men,” Creative Writing student Olivia Iacono, of Trumbull, and Graphic Design major Denise Sweeney, of New Milford; “there are too many chairs for juliet’s balcony but we gather there in spite of it,” Secondary Education-English student Tyler Munroe, of Shelton, and Graphic Design major Hope Johnsky, of Bristol; “Grow Your Own,” M.F.A. in Creative & Professional Writing student Cameron Phillips, of Waterbury, and Studio Art student Anna Schipf, of Babylon, New York; “ii the high priestess,” Creative Writing major Michelle Rochniak, of Wallingford, and Studio Art student Andrew Olson, of Danbury; “The Long Gazes/Before I Even Knew Your Name,” Creative Writing student Danielle Simms, of Danbury, and Photography student Marnie DeLaRosa, of Southington; “I Am on Fire,” English Literature student Matthew Sterk, of New Milford, and Graphic Design major Kyle Estanguerio, of Danbury; “Congratulations,” Elementary Education major Alyssa Virtue, of Groton, and M.F.A. in Visual Arts student Andrew Mark, of Hopewell Junction, New York; “I Know The Warmth Is Tempting But Why Not Stay Outside Just A Tad Longer,” Creative Writing student Kait Waterman, of Middletown, New York, and Graphic Design major Abbi Debes, of New Milford; and “Pinecone Pachinko,” Professor of Health Promotion & Exercise Sciences Dr. Jeffrey Schlicht and Photography student Colin Smith, of Purdys, New York.

Wednesday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.: The Connecticut Poetry Circuit will visit WCSU. WCSU Writing major Isabella Bullock will join fellow Connecticut Collegiate Poets Sara Greene of Eastern Connecticut State University, Oliver Egger of Wesleyan University, Alisa Mejia of Quinnipiac University and John Nguyen of Yale University, who will read from their own work in the Kathwari Honors House on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The public is invited.

Thursday, April 20, 6-8 p.m.: “Breathing Space: Exploring Collaboration Across Art Forms” at Arts Escape, 493 Heritage Road, Suite 4C, in Southbury. WCSU faculty and student poets Michelle Rochniak and Liv Iacono will share their experiences collaborating on Breathing Space, a broadside project featuring poems and artwork created by WCSU students. Audience members will learn about the creative opportunities of collaborating with fellow artists across forms and styles, as well as participate in a short writing exercise inspired by visual art produced by the Arts Escape community. Original broadsides will be on display. Refreshments and light snacks will be served. Registration is required at www.artsescape.org/breathing-space-exploring-collaboration-across-art-forms/#program. Digital versions of last year’s broadsides can be viewed here.

Anthony D’Aries, chair of WCSU’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing program, said, “The Department of Creative and Professional Writing is proud to expand its community partnerships to include Arts Escape. Founded in 2012, Arts Escape encourages engagement in the arts through an extensive range of programs and classes. Their community of adult learners explore the arts in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. Their values and goals support the research that participating in creative activities improves adults’ problem-solving skills, self-esteem and well-being.”

Nancy McMillan, director of the Writing and Literature Program at Arts Escape, added, “Arts Escape is excited to partner with WCSU and thrilled to bring the Breathing Space project to our studio during National Poetry Month. We look forward to the creative possibilities this kick-off event will engender.”

For more information, contact Anthony D’Aries at dariesa@wcsu.edu or WCSU Public Relations at pr@wcsu.edu.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.