What kind of future do you want? That’s the question being asked this year as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Poetry Day.
Brock University Biological Sciences Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur, along with Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, is putting out a call for submissions in this year’s 2018 Sustainability Poetry Contest. All Niagara residents are eligible to enter their original, unpublished poems with the theme of ‘The Future We Want’ for this year’s contest.
UNESCO has been celebrating World Poetry Day annually since 1999. The idea is to use poetry as a social tool to bring awareness to social issues, give a voice to the community, promote linguistic diversity and change the way people view their place in the world.
The Sustainability Poetry Contest, which is under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, includes categories for elementary, high school and post-secondary students, as well as the general public. Both French and English poems are welcome.
This year’s topic is derived from a 2015 United Nations outcome document that spurred the development of the 2030 Agenda, citing 17 sustainable development goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030.
Poems can be submitted online until 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 by visiting the UNESCO Chair’s website. Prizes such as books and gift cards, will be awarded in each of the four categories. Winners will be announced at the UNESCO World Poetry Day celebration on Friday, March 23 at Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines. The event is free, but registration on the Chair’s website is required as space is limited.