Connecticut Poetry Circuit

The Connecticut Poetry Circuit was established in 1968 to continue the work of the New England Poetry Circuit, which was founded in 1964 by the Academy of American Poets and Holly Stevens, daughter of the acclaimed poet and Hartford insurance executive Wallace Stevens. The work of the Circuit is guided by a panel of poets: Dick Allen, Randall Horton, Vivian Shipley, Clare Rossini and Kate Rushin. The Circuit is directed by James Gentile who is an English professor at Manchester Community College, the Circuit's permanent home.

Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poets 2015

2015 student poets; left to right: Jessica Yuan, Nikki Byrne, Justin Greene and Lisa Gaudio

Each year the panel nominates an outstanding poet to give a series of readings at various Connecticut colleges. These readings occur over a two-week period in mid-fall. Poets who have toured the Circuit include: Theodore Deppe, Martin Espada, X. J. Kennedy, James Merrill, Robert Pinsky, Adrienne Rich and Charles Wright. For fall 2014, Brian Turner was selected to tour the Circuit.

The panel also judges a state-wide contest of college students poets. Five students poets are selected each year and tour in the spring to places like the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in Farmington. For spring 2015, the following students were selected to tour the Circuit: Nichole (Nikki) Byrne of the University of Saint Joseph, Lisa Gaudio of Central Connecticut State University, Justin Greene of Wesleyan University, Katherine Rose Monica of the University of Connecticut (Storrs) and Jessica Yuan of Yale University.

View the archive for the complete list of the professional poets and the Connecticut Student Poets who have toured the Circuit.

The Connecticut Poetry Circuit is not funded; the panel and director volunteer their time to encourage student poets and to bring poetry to Connecticut colleges and communities.

Panel and Director

Connecticut Poetry Circuit Director

James Gentile, Professor of English

Connecticut Poetry Circuit Panel