The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC) is pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 Youth Peace Poetry Contest. Sponsored by Village Books, the Youth Peace Poetry contest invites Whatcom County youth, ages 4-18, to get creative and use poetry to explore themes related to peaceful conflict resolution. Themes of past poems have included resolving conflict, talking things out, apologizing, listening, tolerance, building peace, alternatives to violence, respect, peer mediation, and anti-bullying.
Poets are encouraged to submit between now and September 25, 2018. Winners will have the opportunity to read their poem aloud at the WDRC’s annual Peace Builders Awards Gala in November, and at a Youth Peace Poetry Reading hosted by Village Books in December.
Other ways to participate in the Youth Peace Poetry Contest include:
- Read last year’s winning poems, on display at Whatcom County library branches all month long in honor of National Poetry Month,
- Follow the WDRC’s social media, which will highlight youth poetry throughout April,
- Attend the Arbuthnot Lecture at WWU on April 28th , where youth poets will present, and
- Attend the Children’s Art Walk on May 4th , which will feature a display of youth poems (poems will be on display for the entire month of May).
For educators who are interested in submitting poems from a class or group, the WDRC has developed a 30 minute poetry-writing curriculum. This short lesson includes an overview of poetry styles, a vocabulary brainstorm, and time for students to write and submit their poems. Educators are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the free lesson plan.
The Youth Peace Poetry Contest highlights the WDRC’s Youth Program, which works to empower young people to resolve conflict creatively and build healthy relationships. Through training and mediation, the Youth Program reached over 1,500 youth in 2017.