2020 Sustainability Poetry Contest winners announced

The winning entries for this year’s Sustainability Poetry Contest have been chosen. Hosted annually by Brock University’s United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair, the contest invites Niagara poets to submit original written works, in English or French, that celebrate sustainability. This theme of this year’s contest was the International Year of Plant Health, which drew the most entries the contest has received since it first began in 2015.

The winners of the contest are typically announced during an annual World Poetry Day Celebration in St. Catharines, but given the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event has been postponed. While the event will be rescheduled for a future date, Brock UNESCO Chair Liette Vasseur decided to congratulate the winners in advance.

“We were so pleased to see so many members of the Niagara community participate in this year’s contest and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the wonderful entries,” said Vasseur. “While we are disappointed that we couldn’t celebrate World Poetry Day in person this March, we look forward to coming together to share poetry and honour the winners as soon as it is safe to do so.”

This year’s winning entries include:

  • Un monde tout vert by Brock Concurrent Education student Alexander Emmitt Yap
  • Help the Plants by Harry Byun, Grade 3 student at Kate S. Durdan Public School in Niagara Falls
  • Terra by Elizabeth Grace Tomaino, Grade 12 student at Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School
  • The Active Agent by Diana Vasu, English Language and Literature Student at Brock University
  • Adam and Eve Recall the tree by Franco ON Cortese, of Thorold, Ontario

All of the winners have been contacted and will be notified when a new event date has been selected.

Vasseur also extended a special thanks to her Brock colleagues who served as this year’s judging panel: Catherine Parayre, Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture; Gregory Betts, Professor with the Department of English; Adam Dickinson, Associate Professor of English and award-winning poet; and Neta Gordon, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Student Affairs and Curriculum in the Faculty of Humanities.

The forthcoming poetry celebration will be free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are encouraged to monitor the UNESCO Chair’s website for updates on when a date is selected. An e-book compilation of all of this year’s entries will also be published on the website in the coming months.

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