About the Project
Started in 2002 by Paul Saint-Amand, the North Country Schools Peace Poetry Contest encourages K-12 students to contemplate peace through the writing of poetry. Though this contest holds no formal position on the current state of world affairs, we want to honor the ideal of peace. Peace is a uniquely human conception and affirms the human spirit. It is especially important to remember that peace is not merely a goal, but a human right. In that spirit of reflection and affirmation, we encourage everyone to contribute a poem or illustration to this contest.
In the past years, we have received hundreds of submissions. From those, we select 24-36 poems from across grade levels to include in an annual Peace Poetry Calendar. Selected students are then invited to read their poems at the SUNY Potsdam campus as part of the Peace Poetry Reading, held during our annual Lougheed Festival of the Arts. All selected students receive a free copy of the calendar (additional copies are available for purchase). Also, for each grade category (K-4, 5-8, 9-12), we will select a single best poem, and that student will receive special recognition and an extra prize. New in 2018, we will also award prizes in the illustration category.