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Peace is Subject of NECC Poetry Contest

Submitted by on May 5, 2014 – 7:20 pm
NECC Peace Poetry

NECC student Letriah Masters of Haverhill reads from her peace-themed poem “Peace from the Heart”. Peace Poetry founder and NECC Professor Paul Saint-Amand looks on.

The poems of four area students, ranging from grade 4 to college level, were selected from more than 1,000 entries to win Northern Essex Community College’s 6th Annual Peace Poetry contest.

The authors of the winning poems are Marcus Antonelli, Grade 4, from the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School in Haverhill, “Olympic Peace,” ; Catriona LaGrassa, Grade 8, Sacred Hearts School, Bradford, “Dawn” ;  Julia Shorter, Grade 12, Amesbury High School, Amesbury, “Still Waters” ; and Letriah Masters of Haverhill, Northern Essex Community College student, “Peace from the Heart”.

The contest, organized by NECC English Professor Paul Saint – Amand, is sponsored by the NECC English department, Division of Foundational Studies and Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

Saint-Amand, a Vietnam-era veteran who is committed to peace, introduced this peace poetry concept more than 30 years ago when he was teaching in upstate New York. When Saint-Amand relocated to Gloucester and began teaching at NECC, he brought the contest with him.

“Peace is a difficult and often evasive virtue, and sometimes it takes a child to get us to see that vision of hope and peace,” he wrote in the forward to the peace poetry chapbook, “The poems we received give voice to this vision as expressed in everyday life…Consider that to write about peace is an act of generosity…Writing about peace is also a first step to seeing a possible future.”  

Students in grades kindergarten through 12, both from public and private schools, as well as adults affiliated with the schools, and NECC students, are invited each year to participate in the Peace Poetry Contest. Participants may also create and submit original poems on the subject of peace. Many of which are published in a chapbook.

The Peace Poetry Contest and Reading is the only college-wide service learning project offered at NECC with students in Professor Lance Hidy’s design class designing posters announcing the contest and Dyan Gulovsen’s typography class designing the chapbook.

For additional information contact Paul Saint-Amand at