Children lead the way with "Poetry for Peace"

The winners of a "Poetry for Peace," contest, some 60 children from Bridgeport and Fairfield in grades kindergarten through 8th grade, will read their poetry at the Aloysius P. Kelley Center on the Fairfield University campus on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The winning poetry, selected from more than 400 entries, has been published in a book of poems to be distributed at the event. The public is welcome.

The "Poetry for Peace" contest was developed by Dr. Nels Pearson, an assistant professor in the Department of English at Fairfield University, as the community outreach component of a "Poetry for Peace" initiative he designed. The program included a lecture and campus visit, in Spring 2008, by Dr. Rob Doggett, author of "Deep Rooted Things: Empire and Nation in Poetry of W.B. Yeats" (Notre Dame Press, 2006). Dr. Doggett's lecture was entitled "Why Poetry Matters: Reading W.B. Yeats in Times of War." Dr. Pearson said that Dr. Doggett, in his lecture and classroom visits, "spoke about the ways in which 20th century Irish poets used the imaginative language of poetry to engage complex questions of political division, violence, and nationalism."

The children’s entries were placed into three divisions, Kindergarten-2nd grades, 3rd-5th grades, and 6th-8th grades. First, Second, and Third place winners were selected, as well as some 'judges' favorites' for each flight. The contest was funded by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as by contributions from the Program in Peace and Justice Studies, the Department of English, the Program in Irish Studies, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

The Fairfield University "Poetry for Peace" Contest was announced in August 2008. Entries were due by November 22nd and judged by a team of faculty and students from the English and Education departments.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on January 12, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 181

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