FAIRFIELD—Fairfield University will invite dozens of budding young poets to read from their award-winning poetry at the sixth annual Poetry for Peace Contest Winners’ Celebration on Friday, January 31.
The evening begins with a 5:30 pm reception before the awards ceremony and readings at 6:00 pm in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The public and the media are welcome to attend this special event.
More than 1,000 Bridgeport and Fairfield students entered the competition, which is sponsored by Fairfield University’s Writing Center, the English Department, the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, and the MLK Coordinating Committee. This event is held in conjunction with the MLK Holiday Observation Week, a weeklong celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and legacy.
Among the recipients will be nine students from the upper school Cathedral Academy on the St. Augustine campus in Bridgeport: Rachel Elizondo, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,“ Grade 5/Mrs. Altieri; Leilany Delgado, “Peace for Everyone,” Grade 5/Mrs. Altieri; Erica Estrella, “Why Won’t You Let Me In?” Grade 6/Mrs. Dorsey; Steven Ngo, “Awkward Moments,” Grade 7/Mrs. Rubano; Cristina Joyner, “Rest in Peace,“ Grade 8/Mrs. Donnelly; Stacy Davis, “Ballislife,” Grade 8/Mrs. Donnelly; Gabriel DaSilva, “Home,“ Grade 8/Mrs. Donnelly; Jailyn A. Mclean, “The Rectangular Praise,“ Grade 8/ Mrs. Donnelly; and Darius D. Daniel, “Limited Peace,” Grade 8/Mrs. Donnelly.
“What an accomplishment for our children and teachers, for Cathedral Academy and all the student winners throughout the area,” said Mr. Larry DiPalma, Principal of Cathedral Academy upper school campus.”
Students will read their poems at the Quick Center and the winning poems will also be 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.
“I am so pleased this has become an annual event at Fairfield,” said Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It enriches our campus to have students, parents, and teachers from the surrounding area interact with Fairfield faculty and students. The poetry is creative and moving; it is a wonderful tribute to Dr. King and his legacy.”
Entries were submitted in November and judged by a committee of faculty, staff and students from the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, and undergraduates majoring in English, Modern Languages and Education. Elizabeth Boquet, Ph.D, professor of English, and Peter Bayers, Ph.D., associate professor of English, chaired the committee. Carol Ann Davis, assistant professor of English and a poet herself, coordinated the judging.
The children’s entries were placed into three divisions, Kindergarten-2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, and 6th-8th grade. First, second, and third place winners and honorable mentions were selected, as well as some ‘judges’ favorites’ for each category.
“The beach, the birds, a warm embrace, even a well-chosen candy bar plucked from a trick-or-treat bag—the writers bring out the poetry that is present at each moment in the world around us,” Dr. Boquet said.