DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University sophomore Michelle Rochniak was named one of four Connecticut Collegiate Poets by the Connecticut Poetry Circuit for 2021-22.

Rochniak, of Wallingford, was chosen by a panel of poets and educators in a statewide contest based on the strength and creativity of her original works. Only four to five student poets are selected each year to receive this honor; students were nominated by their professors. The collegiate poets will join other Connecticut Poetry Circuit members to hold poetry readings at colleges and community events throughout the state so that the public can enjoy original works by upcoming poets.

Chairman of the WCSU Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Dr. Brian Clements nominated Michelle “because her writing and enthusiasm for writing deserve recognition, and because she models the values of the WCSU Writing Department.”

“A Connecticut Collegiate Poet is someone who writes strong, moving poetry, and I am proud to be recognized for this as it is the highest form of validation. I am honored and immensely grateful that Dr. Clements recognized my potential and submitted my work for consideration. I am also glad that every faculty member I’ve met at WCSU has been so supportive of me,” said Rochniak.