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Calling all Poets living in Washington, DC, and surrounding Counties for World Food Day


World Food Day Poetry Competition

In recognition of the power of poetry to move hearts and minds, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) Liaison Office for North America announces the first-ever World Food Day (WFD) Poetry Competition. The poetry competition is held in conjunction with the Poetry X Hunger initiative.

Held every year on October 16, this year’s World Food Day will focus on the theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future: A Zero Hunger World by 2030 Is Possible.”

After a period of decline, world hunger is on the rise again. Today, over 815 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment, according to the latest FAO report. Conflict, extreme weather events linked to climate change, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Additionally, rural poverty, food insecurity, inequality, unemployment, lack of social protection as well as natural resource depletion due to environmental degradation and climate change are forcing millions to migrate.

Now is the time to get back on track. The world can achieve Zero Hunger if we join forces across nations, continents, sectors and professions, and act on evidence.

Eligibility: Poets ages 18 and older who currently live in the Washington, DC, and in the nearby Counties of Prince George’s, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Howard, Arlington, Fairfax and Loudon are invited to submit 1-2 published or unpublished poems that focus on this year’s theme of taking actions to eliminate hunger next door or around the world by 2030. Employees of FAO and/or family members cannot participate in the competition.

Awards: First Prize for single, winning poem is USD $1,000. In addition, the winner will be invited to read their poem at the World Food Day Celebration in Washington, DC on October 15, 2018. The winning poem will also be published on the FAO Liaison Offices’ Newsletter and website as well as on Poetry X Hunger Facebook page. The winner will also be invited to read their poem at the National Celebration of World Food Day in Des Moines, IA on October 17, 2018. Second Prize ($500) and Third Prize ($250) may also include publications and readings as mentioned for the First Prize. Honorable Mentions may also be awarded.

Submission Guidance: There is no entry fee. Poems in any form and tradition, with any or no geographic focus should be submitted as an attached pdf file via email to poetryxhunger@gmail.com by the firm deadline of midnight Sunday, September 9, 2018. Submitted poems should be in English (no translations), family-friendly, non-political, 35 lines or less in length, single-spaced and in Times New Roman 12-point font. Please include name, address with County noted, phone number and email address in the body of the submission email. Poems will be judged anonymously; name or other identifiers should not appear on the poem. Note that by submitting to the Competition, poets acknowledge that they are the sole author of the poem(s) and that they provide FAO and Poetry X Hunger the right to publish the poem(s); if previously published work is submitted, the submitting poet must hold rights to the work and should indicate in the cover note where the poem first appeared.

Judging: Two preliminary judges and one final judge will select the winning entries. Decisions of the judges will be final and will be announced in last September.

Impact: By bringing poetry more fully to bear on urgent hunger issues, the Competition’s intent is to creatively reach and engage public stakeholders and decision makers as activities designed to completely eliminate hunger are designed and implemented.

For any additional question, email to poetryxhunger[@]gmail.com.

Related Links 

Unleashing the Power of Poetry to Address Hunger