NECC Seeks Material for 10th Annual Peace Poetry Contest

Northern Essex Community College Haverhill campus, (File photograph.)

Local writers are encouraged to submit works of poetry to the 10th annual Peace Poetry Contest and Reading at Northern Essex Community College.

The brainchild of English professor Paul Saint-Amand, the annual event aims to, simply, promote peace.

“Each year, I am pleasantly surprised by the volume of submissions, but, more important, I am overwhelmed by the care and level of poetic expression found in the entries,” Saint-Amand said.

NECC English professor Paul Saint-Amand. (Courtesy photo)

Original peace-inspired poetry, art or videos are accepted through March 15 through the Northern Essex website, with a reading event planned for May 4.

Saint-Amand is encouraged by the local traction his contest has received. One Haverhill elementary school, he said, has submitted videos promoting anti-bullying and multiculturalism each year. A local Islamic school also regularly contributes.

“We believe that children cannot learn to speak the language of possibility, or envision a culture of peace, if they do not have the opportunity to identify such moments and values within themselves and their relationships,” the professor said. “It is our responsibility, as educators, to offer students a way to fuel their imaginations and embrace the concept of peace.”

For more information on the contest, call Saint-Amand at 978-556-3307.