Poetry for Peace

Submitted by Genevieve Bleidner '13 on February 8, 2010

On Thursday, January 28, Fairfield University held its 2nd annual Poetry for Peace Awards celebration from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Kelley Center. The competition, open for students in surrounding areas from grades K-8, was founded and is maintained by co-directors Dr. Nels Pearson and Dr. Jerelyn Johnson.

Students from Bridgeport and Fairfield schools were invited once again to submit original poetry on the theme of peace and what it means to them, and this year more than 700 submissions were submitted for review! Over 60 winners were selected by a panel of Fairfield University faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate. The contest is sponsored by The Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-sponsored by the Program in Peace and Justice Studies and the Department of English.

The celebration was kicked off with the winners coming up to the stage and reading aloud their poetry to the rows upon rows of family members, teachers, community members, and Fairfield University students and faculty who came out to support and congratulate the aspiring poets. Children and their loved ones were presented with a bound book containing the poetry they had written, and were honored for the amazingly in-depth and mature grasp of peace and community that they communicated through their writing.

The event was inspiring, and a wonderful way to celebrate peace and optimism for a better tomorrow. Participants and onlookers took away a feeling of community and hope, brought on by the written words of a new, peace-driven generation.

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