NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Peace Poetry contest winners celebrated

Peace Poetry contest posterPhoto courtesy NECC

At NECC’s Haverhill campus Tech Building the 15th Annual Peace Poetry contest was held the night of May 4.

The contestants’ ages ranged from first graders to college students with three top place winners for each age category.

Brought together for the first. time in perso since the 2020 pandemic which had separated and isolated so many.

Judges included students in Northern Essex’s English Composition I and II a well as Children’s Literature course during this past spring semester of 2023.

Families were so excited to support their loved ones participating in this event as seating quickly filled up and eventually families stood around the room and out the door.

Sherri from Andover, mother of an eighth grader who had been a top three placewinner beams with excitement “I’m just really excited to be able to see my son find an outlet through writing and a ceremony like this just means the world for him he hadn’t expected to be a winner when turning in his poem….Im so very proud.”

These poems held a common theme of course, peace. Lines like Cameron Dove’s of 1st grade describing peace as “copper and dopper and my puppies heart.”

Participants wrote about topics ranging from what peace feels and smells like, connection and empathy to whether or not world peace is attainable in the society we live in today and the injustices suffered.

For example a moving line from first place winner of the College & Community category Fezonae Miller “can peace in this world be attained are we ever going to be unchained…serenity only lasts for a moment this world is truly missing so many components.”

Every poem was its own interpretation of peace and what it meant to the writers/participants of this contest.

“Writing is not always meant to be shared and we write for many personal and private purposes, but often we write for an audience, we write to be heard, and we need to know that our words matter,” said Professor Elle Yarborough of the English Department of Northern Essex.