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Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Announces Winners of 2015 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards. Since 1995, the foundation has made an annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit.

The poetry awards are offered in three categories: adult, youth aged 13–18 and youth 12 and under.

In the adult category, Patricia Sheppard was awarded first place for her poem “Goka O Mita, The Tour Guide Gives an Interpretative Account.”

Sheppard lives in North Adams, Mass., and is a graduate of Yale College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Antioch Review, The Hudson Review and The Iowa Review, among others.

An honorable mention in the Adult category was awarded to William A. Carpenter, of Chepachet, R.I., for his poem “Peace.”

Carpenter is a member of the Ocean State Poets (OSP), whose mission is to give voice to displaced persons in prisons, nursing homes and throughout the community. His poetry has appeared in BluelineChestBalancing the TidesJuly Literary PressThe Cancer Poetry Project and Write Wing Press, among others. 

A second honorable mention in the adult category was awarded to Kristin Van Tassel for her poem “Discovery.”

Van Tassel teaches writing and American literature at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. She writes essays and poetry about place, teaching, motherhood and travel. Her work has appeared in literary, academic and travel publications, including The Chronicle of Higher EducationWorld HumISLERelief and Flyway.

First place in the youth 13–18 category was awarded to Eli Adams for her poem “Instructions for How to Prepare My Corpse.” 

Adams is a first year college student at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., double majoring in studio art and neuroscience. She is deeply involved in social, political and environmental movements, both in and out of school. Being immersed in the arts, creating them and surrounding herself with them, is a big part of her life.

An honorable mention in the youth 13–18 category was awarded to Emily Sun from Boulder, Col., for her poem “Mango Tree.” Sun attends Brown University, where she works in communications at the Swearer Center for Community Engagement. 

She writes and edits for the Brown Human Rights Report; has led an ongoing creative exchange between youth in Boulder and youth in Chajul, Guatemala; and has taught visual arts and creative writing classes for elementary students and special needs adults.

A second honorable mention in the youth 13–18 category was awarded to Caroline Waring from Richland, Wash. for her poem “Do You Know How They Catch Monkeys in Africa?”

Waring is co-editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, plays tennis and reads Marxist philosophy. She also participates in her school’s Math Team, Knowledge Bowl, Science Bowl, Key Club and National Honor Society.

In the youth 12 and under category, first place was awarded to Rachel Liu from Chapel Hill, N.C., for her poem “Sweet Memories.” She attends Smith Middle School and is a member of her local swimming team.

Writing fictional stories is Liu's biggest hobby outside the classroom. Poetry and drama are two literary genres that she has recently begun to explore.

Barbara Mandigo Kelly, for whom the Peace poetry Awards are named, was a poet, pianist and peace advocate. For more information, and to read the first place and honorable mention poems in their entirety, previous years’ winners and the 2016 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards guidelines, please visit www.peacecontests.org or contact the foundation at 805.965.3443.

— Sandy Jones represents Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


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