FAO in North America

Calling all Poets living in Canada and the United States!

Artwork by Diane Wilbon Parks

In recognition of 2021 World Food Day and in keeping with the power of poetry to move hearts and minds towards needed anti-hunger actions, Poetry X Hunger and its partners announce an important Call for Poetry Submissions.  Collaborators include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Liaison Office for North America, the Capital Area Food Bank and, poet Rebecca Roach. 

Held every October 16, this year’s World Food Day is themed on “Our Actions Are Our Future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.”  Our modern world is putting enormous strain and competing pressures on our agri-food systems. Our collective choices as consumers and producers today impact what tomorrow will look like. World Food Day calls for building sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems that deliver enough affordable, nutritious, and safe food for all. The campaign also recognizes and thanks to #FoodHeroes who, no matter the circumstance, continue to provide food to their communities and beyond.  

Eligibility: Poets ages 18 and older who currently live in Canada or the United States are invited to submit one published or unpublished poem focused on one of the following topics: 

• Our Actions Are Our Future (World Food Day theme; see website below)

• Any facet of food (in)security, hunger, nutrition or sustainable agriculture

• The critical roles of Food Heroes and providers such as farmers, food workers, food assistance and food bank employees and volunteers and others.

Incentives and Impacts:  All submitted work will be considered for 1) posting on the Poetry X Hunger website, 2) use by FAO/North America in newsletters and other releases during World Food Day week, 3) showcasing in the Capital Area Food Bank’s messaging campaigns.  In addition, for each poem submitted, 10 tree seedlings will be purchased on the poet's behalf by Ms. Roach and planted around the world by the Eden Reforestation Projects which employs local stakeholders in areas impacted by deforestation and poverty.  

So, by submitting a poem you will be helping to address urgent food insecurity and malnutrition issues.  In fact, many of the submitted poems will be used by anti-hunger groups, decision-makers, teachers, community groups, and others to inspire action towards Zero Hunger.  And, given that "Everything lives where trees live,” your submission and Ms. Roach’s generosity will further leverage the power of poetry to improve lives through environmental stewardship.

Submission Guidelines: There is no submission fee. Poems in any form and tradition, with any or no geographic focus, should be submitted as an attached Word file via email to [email protected] by the firm deadline of midnight Eastern US Time on Friday, September 10, 2021.  Submitted poems should be original and in English (no translations).  And, they should be family-friendly, 35 lines or less in length, single-spaced and in Times New Roman 12-point font.  Poets are encouraged to convey an inspiring and forward-looking message and avoid criticizing political leaders and countries.

Please include name, address with the country of residence, phone number and email address in the body of the submission email.  Your name or other identifiers should not appear in the poem.

Note that by submitting to this Call, you acknowledge that you are the sole author of the poem and that you agree to provide Poetry X Hunger, FAO, the Capital Area Food Bank and Ms. Roach the right to publish the poem(s) in print and/or electronic formats. If you submit a previously published poem, you must hold rights to it, and you should indicate in your submission cover note where it first appeared.

On or about October 1, 2021, many of the submitted poems will be chosen for highlighting during World Food Day activities by the partnering organizations.  All submissions will be considered for publication on the Poetry X Hunger website.  

Questions: Send an email to [email protected]

Relevant Websites:

FAO's World Food Day – http://www.fao.org/world-food-day  

FAO’s North America Liaison Office - http://www.fao.org/north-america/en/

Capital Area Food Bank - https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

Eden Reforestation Projects -- edenprojects

Poetry X Hungerhttps://www.poetryxhunger.com