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Student Colleen Goff selected as a Connecticut Touring Poet

Published on December 22, 2021

Student Colleen Goff selected as a Connecticut Touring Poet

Colleen GoffEastern Connecticut State University student Colleen Goff is one of only four college students statewide selected to be a Connecticut Student Touring Poet in the 2021-22 Connecticut Poetry Circuit. Each year, a panel of judges selects a handful of college student poets to tour the circuit, which hosts readings at universities and organizations across the state.

Goff was nominated by English Professor Daniel Donaghy, who submitted Goff’s poem “Sagging Pants Isn’t the Issue” to the panel. “(The poem) is essentially a response to the stereotype that sagging pants invites danger to the individual or serves as a marker for ‘criminal,’” explained Goff of her “anti-racist” poem.

“I am honored to be selected as a poet by the Connecticut Poetry Circuit,” said Goff, a senior English major. “This will be my first time touring and preforming at different universities, so this opportunity is incredibly significant for my growth as a poet.

“I look forward to sharing my anti-racist pieces so I can continue using my voice to call on other White people to work toward anti-racism themselves. My poetry goes beyond anti-racist work, and I often write about my upbringing in an inner city — Waterbury — my estranged and incarcerated father, mental health, education, womanhood and more.” 

Goff expects to graduate in spring 2022 and aspires to become a high school English teacher. She would also like to enroll in a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program to further her education as a creative writer. “Working within the education system is my main career aspiration,” said Goff, “and I plan to incorporate creative writing in the classroom to inspire youth to find and use their voices proudly.”

Of her poetry mentor, she said, “I’d like to thank Dr. Donaghy for introducing me to writing poetry and assisting me in becoming the writer I am today. I wouldn’t be writing poetry if it weren’t for his expertise, encouragement and guidance through it all.”

In addition to Goff, this year’s winning student poets are are Vaughn Goehring of Yale University; Brian Omondi of Quinnipiac University; and Michelle Rochniak of Western Connecticut State University.

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. This year’s judges were Randall Horton, Clare Rossini, Kate Rushin, Vivian Shipley and John Stanizzi. 

For more information on the Connecticut Poetry Circuit:

Written by Michael Rouleau