Young people are key to putting the pieces together for creative conflict resolution. The Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest encourages kids to write a poem or song about a peaceful theme (listening, respect, anti-bullying, etc). 5 selected poets receive gift cards, public recognition at our Peace Builder Awards Gala on November 17th, AND will be filmed by BTV! Winners brought guests to their feet at last year's Peace Builder Awards Gala. Check out the WDRC YouTube Channel for videos, or download our Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest booklet to read past poems.

Who: K-12 students in Whatcom County
When: Submit poems now through September 25, 2017
Prizes: Gift cards, public readings at Village Books and the Peace Builder Awards Gala, and much more! 
How: Submit poem online OR mail/drop off submission form to the WDRC (13 Prospect St., Ste 201, Bellingham, WA 98225)

Are you a teacher? Interested in submitting poems from your students?

We have a 30 min curriculum available! This short lesson includes an overview of three poetry styles, a vocabulary brainstorm, and time for students to construct their own poem on submission forms. All you do is mail them in! Contact for the free lesson plan. 

2017 Peaceful Poetry Contest Winners

Sylvan W. from Columbia Elementary
Lily W. from Montessori at Samish Woods
Kate G. from Kulshan Middle School
Jessica J. from Ferndale High School

Community members can celebrate these young poets as well as Peace Builder Award Recipients at the 15th Annual Peace Builder Awards Gala, Nov. 17th at 5:30pm at Settlemyer Hall. 


Sylvan W.

friendship is a circle
it never stops rolling  
friendship is a weed
it never stops growing
friendship is a dog
when it comes it brings happiness

The River

Lily W.

There is a river, a long river
A river that is flowing with peace. 

We might not all see it the same
But we all know it's there. 
Sometimes it sparkles to you
and sometimes it looks like

But when you see it that way
Close your eyes and breathe
And open them again
And then it will sparkle to you.

There is a river, a long river
A river that is flowing with peace.

Between Two Trees
Kate G.

Between the two trees
one oak and one birch
him and I sit
face to face
we gaze and gaze
we scream and cry
we yell and fight
we hug and kiss
nothing is better than this sweet
I sit alone and wonder
how my life would be without him
I ponder and ponder
until i can't take it any longer
I call and hear his voice
we rejoice
we scream and cry
we yell and fight
and oh, how we wish we could kiss
we say goodbye and then goodnight
we'll meet up and renew our sweet bliss
we'll sit
face to face
we're the same
him and me
he and he
we'll sit happily
between the two trees.


Jessica J.

Peace is in our blood
The blood we donate to hurricane victims
Working together to provide for those who have lost everything
Peace is in our hands
The hands we stretch to bring stray animals home
Who have felt unkind palms before
Peace is in our voice
The voice we raise in protest to the injustice faced by those in our community
Getting louder and louder with the strength in our solidarity
Peace is in our eyes
The eyes that shed tears when we hear of the children in the east that we have lost
Covered in a blanket of hatred and war
Peace is in the way my hair curls
Similar to that of my ancestors
The people of Maize
Who cherished the earth
And harnessed its nutrients to sustain our people
Their skin glowing under the beating sunlight
Peace is in the nature around us
Enraged with the mistreatment of its land
Yearning for a change

We are walking constellations of all the people
Who love us
Have helped us
And have shown strength through their kindness to others
Connect the dots and find the way
For we may have forgotten what Peace looks like
But mistake not,
Peace is us.

Thanks to our Peaceful Poetry Contest Sponsor, Village Books!


Click here to shop online at Village Books in Historic Fairhaven and a portion of the proceeds will benefit WDRC!

2014 Contest Winners, Photo credit: Phil Rose Photography

2014 Contest Winners, Photo credit: Phil Rose Photography

2016 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Winners

  • Robyn J. from Lummi Nation School 
  • Grace N. from Mount Baker High School 
  • Haley W. from Mount Baker Middle School 
  • Millie P. from Bernice Vossbeck Elementary 
  • Brandon Z. 

Community members can celebrate these young poets as well as Peace Builder Award Recipients at the 14th Annual Peace Builder Awards Gala, Nov. 18th at 5:30pm at Settlemyer Hall. 

2014 Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest Recipients on BTV

2013 Peaceful Poetry Contest Recipients on BTV