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Local Students Recognized at Annual Peace Poetry Contest & Reading Event

Submitted by on May 9, 2017 – 3:20 pm

Winners of the Peace Poetry contest from left to right: Kyle Chen, Aubrie Tibert, Malika Meskine and Patricia Zube.

Four local students — and one teacher — received special recognition for their pacifistic poetry at the 9th Annual Northern Essex Community College Peace Poetry Contest & Reading Event. The event was held Friday, May 5, at the Hartleb Technology Center on the college’s Haverhill campus.

The authors and their winning poems are: for grades K–2, “All Together for Peace” by Malika Meskine, Grade 2, The Islamic Academy for Peace, Methuen; for grades 3–5, “What is Peace?” by Kyle Chen, Grade 5, Sanborn Academy, Andover; for grades 6–8, “I am Peace” by Sadia Ghani, The Islamic Academy for Peace, Methuen; for grades 9–12, “I am a Teenager of This Generation” by Aubrie Tibert, Grade 12, Methuen High School, Methuen; and for the adult category, “Peace Is” by first-grade teacher Patricia Zube, Pelham School, Pelham, N.H.

The Peace Poetry 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.

After both Saint-Amand and NECC President Lane Glenn offered a welcome to all guests and participants, poets laureate Nadine & Ken Delano, of North Andover, delivered the evening’s keynote speech. This was followed by a video presentation from a first-grade class at Haverhill’s Tilton School, entitled “Peaceful People … Peaceful Places.”

NECC Professor Paul Saint-Amand and President Lane Glenn stand with Peace Poetry winner Malika Meskine, Grade 2.

Northern Essex offers an associate degree in liberal arts: writing option, which gives students a solid foundation in writing for various purposes and audiences. The program emphasizes developing an individual style and explores the creative and vocational applications of writing, including creative writing, poetry, nonfiction, technical writing and journalism.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, 8,500 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at