Connecticut Student Poets to Read at Connecticut Poetry Circuit Online Event April 21

MANCHESTER, Conn. (April 19, 2022) – The Manchester Community College English department will host a virtual poetry reading featuring four local student poets, the winners of  the 2021-2022 CT Poetry Circuit Contest.

The online event Thursday, April 21, from 6 to 7 p.m., will feature Brian Ataka from Quinnipiac University, Vaugh Goehrig from Yale University, Colleen Goff from Eastern Connecticut State University and Michelle Rochniak from Western Connecticut State University. It is free and open to the public.

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Ataka is a sophomore at Quinnipiac University where he majors is Economics. Interested in the way people behave in a variety of circumstances, Brian finds poetry the only way he can describe his observations of others and of himself. Currently a resident of Shelton, Connecticut, Brian’s hometown is Cedar Park, Texas. He was born in Bungoma, Kenya.

Goehrig is a junior at Yale University where he majors in English. He is the recipient of Yale’s Gordon-Barber Memorial Prize for Poetry and currently works as an intern for Yale University Press. Before poetry, his passion for the arts was vested in grunge and metal music, thanks to his mom and dad, respectively. He is a member of Yale’s only musical improv-comedy group, Just Add Water, and an esteemed juggler. Vaughn’s hometown is Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Goff is a senior at Eastern Connecticut State University where she majors in English, with minors in creative writing and secondary education. She is the recipient of Eastern’s Alexander “Sandy” Taylor Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and her poetry has been published in the Willimantic Chronicle. On campus, she is a second-year writing tutor, a teaching assistant and the president of ECSU’s Creative Writing Club. She was recently accepted into Eastern’s Secondary Education Early Start Graduate program. Her hometown is Waterbury, Connecticut.

Rochniak is a sophomore at Western Connecticut State University majoring in professional writing, with a creative writing focus. Rochniak has received the Association of Writers and Writing Program Intro Award for Poetry at the university level. Rochniak’s poetry has been published in Western’s Perspective magazine as well as on the Heartland Society of Women Writers website. Rochniak also worked as submissions and publications intern for Heartland Society of Women Writers and was the associate editor of the organization’s first anthology. Rochniak’s hometown is Wallingford, Connecticut.