Peace Is the Word at Fairfield University
Dozens of budding poets – from tiny kindergarteners to polished eighth-graders – will converge on Fairfield University’s campus Friday, January 25, 2013, for the fifth annual Poetry for Peace Contest Winners’ Celebration. Having grown in popularity with each passing year, the evening of readings, which is free of charge, will begin at 6 p.m. in the spacious Kelley Theatre of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. All are welcome to attend this special event, as the children present their award-winning poetry to families, faculty and the public.
More than 1,000 Bridgeport and Fairfield students entered the competition, which is sponsored by Fairfield University's Office of Academic Engagement, Department of English, and the Program in Peace and Justice. The winning poems are published in a book, which will be distributed to the children and their families at the event. The contest is designed to encourage discussion of how the imaginative and original language of poetry relates to the creation of peace. It gives young writers a chance to express their own concepts of peace through the creative act of writing.
“This is one of the most moving events we have at Fairfield each year. It is such a pleasure to see so many students, parents, and teachers from the surrounding area on our campus engaged with our faculty and students,” said Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Humanities Institute. “The poetry is of a surprisingly high quality given how young most of the students are, and their work reveals amazingly nuanced insights and complex world views. I try never to miss this event!”
The Poetry for Peace Contest was announced in September 2012. Entries were submitted in November and judged by a committee of faculty and students from the English and Modern Languages and Literatures departments and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. Jerelyn Johnson, Ph.D, assistant professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Peter Bayers, Ph.D., associate professor of English, chaired the committee.
“This is my second year involved with poetry for peace judging and the experience is like no other,” said Rachel Lang ’14, an international studies and politics major from Milford, Conn. “I have learned so much and have been inspired by these poems. They are all so diverse and offer different meanings and outlooks on peace. I am lucky to be able to read these students’ poems and they inspire me to look beyond my ideas on peace.”
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 category. "Their poetry is a reminder that we need to listen to our children,” said Dr. Bayers, “and in listening learn from their wisdom."