Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture
Education, UNESCO
Release Date:
Tuesday, 17 March 2020 - 3:25pm

The BVI National Commission for UNESCO will be observing World Poetry Day on March 21 with the hosting of a poetry competition.

The competition will be held under the theme “Celebrating the forefathers of our nation who set the path for 70 years of Legislation” and is one of the many activities that will be held over a six week period of observance.

Secretary General of the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer shared that she enjoys the school visitation activity in particular because it always highlights how intelligent, innovative and dynamic students are in their questioning and presentations.

“They are always yearning for more knowledge so this World Poetry Day theme will definitely get them thinking and doing some vital research,”

Dr. Flax-Archer added that the day is also a way to pay tribute to people who bring the prominent art of poetry to life.

“It is also an act of creating and sharing, and finally, it is a gateway to cultivating art, cultivating the mind which can cultivate peace,” she said.

The BVI National Commission for UNESCO and Department of Culture representatives share that while the continuation of the legislative journey have just been observed at the H. Lavity Stoutt Memorial Celebration under the theme, “The Journey Continues: A Virgin Islands Story,” it is hoped that through the writing of poetry, students will better understand the many efforts and sacrifices that were made to achieve and maintain self-governance for the past 70 years.

Director of Culture, Dr. Katherine Smith said “The art of poetry is certainly one of the finest ways to educate and empower students to explore their heritage and culture. I look forward to future collaborative efforts with the BVI National Commission for UNESCO.”

The Poetry Competition guidelines are as follows:

Commencement Date:                    March 21, 2020 (World Poetry Day)

Completion Date:                            ​​​March 31, 2020

Theme:                                            ​ Celebrating the forefathers of our nation who set the path for 70 years of Legislation

Categories:​                                      Ages 5-7
                                                          Ages 8-10
                                                          Ages 11-13
                                                          Ages 14-17

Poems should be sent to: ​    

Monetary prizes will be awarded.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first adopted the competition on March 21 as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999. The BVI National Commission observes the day annually by highlighting the importance of poetry.


Nekita Turnbull

Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2730