Anita was passionate about literacy and volunteered at the Community Learning Center in Clearwater, Florida. 


Tutors and/or donations are welcome.


For more information or volunteering click here


Newly published


                                    Marco's Gift


  This highly charged romantic novel takes place on Taboga Island in the Bay of Panama.  It is an island caught up in its past, suffering from poverty and superstition, owned by a nation oppressed by both church and state. The local island leader, Marco Rodriguez, is an enigmatic man, a teacher who cares deeply for his people's welfare.  Though he has no official title, the islanders know him as the Devil Man, a figure from Panamanian legend.  A third generation Devil Man, Marco inherited his Stone from his father.  Accepting the Stone, he has made a pact with the Devil.  He carried the Stone, a religious artifact, embedded in his arm. US University educated, Marco is torn by the opposing worlds, one steeped in religious superstition, and the other riddled with immediate social, political and economic problems.  He is secretly uncertain of the alleged power of his Stone.  But who would he be without it?  This is Marco's terror.  

  Elizabeth Rogers, an elegant blonde from Boston, arrives on the island.  She is a successful art dealer who has done some research and is certain the artist Paul Gauguin, suffering from malaria and a patient at the island sanitarium (circa French Canal,1887) painted while hospitalized.   According to rumor, Gauguin's own journal writings, and Elizabeth's investigations, the Gauguin paintings exist, hidden somewhere on the island.  Elizabeth intends to find them.

  Elizabeth finds refuge in her work.  She will not permit herself to trust another human being.  She carries her own "stone," the fear of love.  Abandoned at an early age, Elizabeth still suffers from the sexual abuse inflicted on her by her stepfather when she was a child, followed by her mother's suicide.

  Slowly, Taboga draws Elizabeth into itself.  Its beauty and history are seductive.  The island's emerald green bay filled with villagers' fishing boats, the small coves of beaches, dense jungle mountain sides, and flowering fragrances are all deeply magnetizing.  But the island's poverty and ignorance angers Elizabeth.

  Inevitably she meets the island's leader, Marco.  Their encounter is fraught with mutual distrust and attraction.  But it will grow into a love affair greater than any relationship either of them has ever known.  Physical attraction is immediate, undeniable.  Two people who consider themselves incapable of love now find love inescapable.  The novel culminates to a violent conflict during which Elizabeth must make a terrifying decision.  

  Marco's Gift is a powerful tale of a doomed but irresistible love affair. It is a story of a promise kept, and the healing power of love.


Artwork for Purchase


Any of the artwork by Anita McAndrews is available in print format of various sizes.  Contact Anita Welch for more information.  See Contact page.  


                               Galleries & Art Work



Anita was a co-founder of Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island, where she exhibited and sold many of her works.  Visit their website at 


Spring Bull Gallery

DeBlois Gallery

Anita was a member of this unique contemporary art gallery.

Visit their website at:

Of Interest:

Kuna Art of Panama

                          ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST 

         Anita McAndrews Poets for Human Rights 2021 Contest

First Prize – Reimagination by Timi Sanni


“Twelve children have been killed in the Israeli-occupied West Bank this year as well as 67 in the May attack on Gaza”— Al Jazeera, 24 Aug 2021

I knew them when they were not
nameless—beauty like the bloom
of dusk in their eyes. Only God
can make a boy into a garden of
geraniums, and yes, the bullet, too.
I imagine every gunshot was
answered with Allahu Akbar—
the bullet remembering its Maker,
the maker remembering God. God
remembering the day He said
I will create man and the angels
asked why. I imagine the soldiers
visit the roadside shops to pawn
their guns for love. I imagine
they look into the silvered eyes
of those they were sent to silence;
they say o brother, son of my father,
speak, and the reply comes: peace.
I imagine that the mention
of peace is enough to quench
the wildfire of a war brought
to consume the helpless. They say
that at the mention of God’s
name, everything bows, so why
is the bullet so stubborn?
I imagine. It’s the only thing I
can do without fail. Once I tried
to hold a gun; to learn the art of
answering a gunshot with another.
But God hugged me, pried away
the cold steel biting at my fingers.

I sobbed. He let me. His shoulders
were broad, and my tears dropped
like a liquid metal. Once, I tried
to say peace in the eye of a storm,
and stuttered. And God did not
reprimand me for this lack of faith.


About the poet – Timi Sanni is a Nigerian writer, editor and multidisciplinary artist. He was the winner of the 2020 SprinNG Poetry Contest, the 2020 Fitrah Review Short Story Prize, and third-place winner of the 2021 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize. He was also a finalist for the 2021 Lumiere Fiction Prize, and was longlisted for Frontier Poetry’s 2021 New Voices Contest. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines such as The Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Palette Poetry, HOAX, Lucent Dreaming, and elsewhere.

2nd Prize – Well Being by Judith Janoo


Let us be known

for the plea, sea to sea—one country,

lakes, plains, city streets,

essential work rewarded

long past pandemic disease.

Fairness regardless of skin or origin,

inequity’s truth an epiphany,

warding off war a gain.


Let us be known

for Lincoln and King,

for questioning, inventing,

justice boring through

smokescreens, through hate

berating those dragging their bones

as the richest gain riches.


Let us be known

for opposing those

who sharpen their claws

on our daughters’ plea

for a new economy

steeped in well being.


Let us be known

for clearing the sky for better lives,

now and then—an extra slice of pie,

known for the falcons’ wingbeat

freeing seas of hungry children

as the raptor’s shadow passes

dropping bills like uneaten seeds.


About the Poet – Judith Janoo lives in East Burke, Vermont. Awards for Judith’s poetry include the Soul-Making Keats Award, the Vermont Award for Continued Excellence in Writing, and the Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry has appeared in journals including The Fish Anthology, Pedestal Magazine, Sow's Ear and Main Street Rag.


3rd Prize – Killing of the Poets by Lao Rubert




My people are being shot and I can only throw back poems.
- Khet Thi, died in detention May 9, 2021

"They told me to come to the Interrogation Center," she said.
I thought he had a broken bone. I was wrong.
They removed his organs as a warning
to anyone who dared to write a poem
and read it out loud."

The Generals are not trained
to fight poems but know
verses live in the body
so they ordered one long gash down Khet Thi's chest,
cut out the organs and burned what was left.
They hoped to make the city safe from poets.
It didn't work.
Words still jump from body to body,
heart to spleen, find their way through air
chattering and singing.

On our side of the globe,
we discuss verb choices.
We do not speak of a February coup
or poets dying in Myanmar.
We don't talk of Ko Chan Thar Swe
burned after he left his monastery, became a poet.
We don't mention Ma Myint Myint Zin
shot in the head at a protest
or U Sein Win - his face dissolved with gasoline.

We haven't yet thrown poems back
that can threaten a General
but your words are spiraling in our chests, Khet Thi
and no army can stop them.

About the Poet - Lao Rubert is a poet who spent her professional career advocating for repeal of the death penalty and criminal justice reform. She lives in Durham, North Carolina. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Adanna, Atlanta Review, Barzakh, Collateral, Mer Vox, New Verse News, Poetry in Plain Sight, Snapdragon and Writers Resist.

Honorable Mentions

1st Honorable Mention - Just Justice by Samantha Terrell



When we say we’re for equal rights,

That must mean we’re feminists.


If we’re for civil rights,

Apparently we are black.


We have to label ourselves with

A rainbow, if we want to support LGBTQs,


Yellow ribbons to show

We care about veterans.


And, don’t forget your pink ribbon

For breast cancer survivors.


When will all the labeling stop, so

De-stigmatizing can begin?


When will all the niceties finally fall apart, so

Messy realities can cover over superficialities?


Why can’t rights just be rights?

When will justice, mean just justice?


We’re not all black feminist lesbian veteran breast cancer survivors,

But we can all be the Americans America needs us to be.


About the Poet - Samantha Terrell , author of Vision, and Other Things We Hide From (Potter's Grove Press), is an internationally published American poet whose work emphasizes self-awareness as a means to social awareness. Her poetry can be found in publications such as: Anti-Heroin Chic, Dissident Voice, Fevers of the Mind, In Parentheses, Misfit Magazine, Red Weather, Sledgehammer and others, and has been featured on radio shows and podcasts from Wyoming to Glasgow and beyond. She writes from her home in upstate New York.


2nd Honorable Mention - 9/12/2001 by Gabrielle Ghaderi


The day Americans never felt more unified. 

The day Americans came together and rose up from the ashes of tragedy.


The day a Muslim woman left her house without her hijab. The day the Sikh man hid his turban in the dresser drawer. 


The day my father began tucking his grandmother’s necklace, engraved with a prayer to Allah, into his shirt.



About the Poet - Gabrielle Ghaderi is an emerging writer from the Chicago area. As a half-Iranian woman, much of her work explores multiculturalism, identity, and race. Gabrielle has been published by Blue Marble Review, YES! Magazine, Non-White and Woman, and various local news outlets. She holds a BA in English-Writing from Illinois Wesleyan University


3rd Honorable Mention - Only Among the Wise by Daisy LaFond




“Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18.


he reads the holy koran

heads to the mosque

on fridays


she reads the holy bible

sermonizes on



he is muslim

she is christian


married 25 years…


he prays the rosary

confesses his sins to a priest


she teaches Sunday school

cleans the church on Saturdays


he is catholic

she is moravian


married 50 years …


she worships on saturdays

keeps the sabbath holy

shuns the swine


he walks & meditates

keeps his temple holy

loves bbq ribs


she is adventist

he is agnostic


married 35 years…


& so it is


love is respect

    respect is love


        love is peace

              peace is love


                       but only among the wise  



About the Poet - Daisy Holder Lafond was born on St. Thomas, USVI; has lived in New York, Trinidad & Tobago and Toronto, Canada, where she studied Creative Writing and Magazine Journalism. A former newspaper editor, columnist and magazine publisher, her work has appeared in various publications including Canadian Author & Bookman, The Globe & Mail,  The V.I. Daily News, The V.I. Voice, The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, Moko Caribbean Journal, Poui Cave Hill Literary Annual and Interviewing the Caribbean. Additionally, she is co-author of All This is Love – A Collection of Virgin Islands Poetry, Art & Prose. In 2012, she received The Caribbean Writer’s Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize and in 2016 was Second Place Winner in Small Axe Poetry Competition. Additionally, she is a V.I. government retiree and resides on the island of St. Croix, USVI. She has two adult sons and one granddaughter.



The 2021 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest was judged by Maritza Rivera, who is warmly thanked for her exceptional service.

One time publication rights were granted by the contributing poets to Poets for Human Rights/Poets Without Borders.  Please respect the poets’ copyright/creative property rights and do not re-publish any of the poems without express permission from the authors.  If you would like assistance in contacting poets for permission to re-publish, contact

Grateful acknowledgment is made to all the contributing poets from twenty seven countries for your participation and affirmation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Poems will be posted at

For more information on future submissions go to 

2021 Renee Duke Youth Award Poetry Contest winners

1st Prize – Why I Shall Keep Writing by Nguyen Tran

Why I Shall Keep Writing


People often ask me why I write too many poems about

women & girls & that one time seven years, five weeks, 


three days ago that I got harassed in an elevator on my

way to school. about how I never dared to mention


the occasion to anyone but my poems, not even my

parents, not even my teddy bears. about how I was


too scared to even remember the guy’s face. about how

going out after dark becomes a little too expensive for me.


about how now I build an invisible wall of

precaution against every stranger I meet. about how on 


random gloomy days, my head would hit the jackpot and 

land right on that piece of memory all over again.


Or why I write too many poems about my mother & 

aunts & sisters. about the forgotten tears they shed while 


chopping little chives for dinners every night. about the rough

lumps on their hands from scrubbing too many plates & 


stains & dirts. Or about the time at school I bled on

my uniform pants and get laughed at by some boys. about my PE


teacher who banned me from soccer try-outs because I am

a girl. Because if I don’t, those truths will forever be


buried, butchered, bartered. I want to paint, 

pin, print them everywhere. I will keep writing, 


fighting squiggling too many poems until girls get to do

soccer in PE. until girls don’t have to hide their sanitary


pads like a sin. until dads & uncles & brothers 

bother to pick up a broom. until girls can walk with 


confidence in their favorite summer miniskirts &

tank tops & jean shorts. until we achieve 


a true sense of equality.


About the Poet – Nguyen Tran is 17 years old, a senior at Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted in Hanoi, Vietnam


2nd Prize - Prisoner’s Dilemma by Nicole Bloomfield


Prisoner’s Dilemma


The prison door swung open.


I scurried through
Crisscrossing stitches of darkness,
Tightly-wounded threads
Slinging slipped futures
And slogan cries
Slowed my scramble
To the finish line.


My shadows stretched beyond
The kaleidoscopic cell in front.
Grimy light from above
Flickered on the teenage boy
Sitting cross-legged
On the stone bench,
Black attire blended into the wall.
His eyes tracked my movement like a laser.


“I told you not to go.”
Rough rasp grated the silence.


His lips thinned, hands curling into tense fists
As if he could grip the coarse grains of his cause
Sifting through his fingers like black sand,
Glaring at the stiff-cut collar of my police uniform
Choking my neck. Despite myself,
My skin prickled in the swollen air.


Look at me, I wanted to demand,
And explain the noose snaking my son’s fallen frame?
A played prophet
Who thinks he’s answering to the burnt bush,
Recklessly smashing the silver platter
Of opportunities I wrenched morsel by morsel
From the people he was clamouring at.
And what crack appeared
In the ocean he threw himself into?

The self-proclaimed martyr unclenched his jaw,
Uttering a hoarse, steady dare
That once thundered among the red sea.


“How were we supposed to stay silent
When one of our people died
For speaking out?”


My vision blurred
And I had a view of suppressed parallels,
The once-suspended gavel waiting to fracture a thousand me’s.
Bars dividing us shifted into view—
Steel lines, like trailing tears, an impenetrable wall,
And I wondered, for a moment:
Which one of us is truly free?


“Someone else will take care of it.”


“But who, Dad?”
The boy asked,
Echoes scraping off the cold, cement walls.


About the Poet – Nicole Bloomfield is a 15-year-old junior at Elsa High Carmel School Association, Hong Kong. She has been a finalist for Hong Kong Young Writers Award, and her work has been published on Young Post, Man Up! Creative Writing Competition, Incandescent Review, a publication with over 100K followers on Medium along with having taken the John Hopkins Talented Youth English program. One of her works is also praised by the New Yorker and another is read in a talk in the Hong Kong Holocaust Center. In her spare hours, she likes running and reading fantasy or sci-fi novels.


3rd Prize  Don’t Ask A Nomad Woman About Her Past by Areesha Shakil

Don’t Ask A Nomad Woman About Her Past

When you asked for my secrets
I cried sweet tears of woven gold
Because you see, my child
I'm not like you
I come from nomad men who fight God
And forsake their offspring
I am a child of the warzone
And you a child of soft kisses and fresh wind
I come from a world you will never know
Because I ran when you were in my womb
So you would not know the tribulations I did

Do you regret it now?

Do the secrets of a nomad woman terrify you?

When you venture out into the world
Do not forget the dagger I gave you
I know you don't need it
Because your world is small and unsullied
Not like mine
Dante must’ve forgotten about it when he wrote about Hell
Alas the demons of my past still plague me
You see, I am like Paul the Apostle
Because like him, I too have lost my head
And now the demons forage for my limbs as well
And I fear that one day they might come after you

So, my child, there you have it
This is why you don't ask a nomad woman about her past


About the Poet - Areesha Shakil is a seventeen-year-old writer from Pakistan. She considers writing as a refuge, and writes on genres including but not limited to medieval fantasy and surrealist/morbid poetry. Other than writing, she enjoys reading philosophy and poetry. She cites
her inspirations as Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, and JRR Tolkien.

Congratulations to the winners.


The poets have granted one time publication rights to Poets for Human Rights. Please respect the copyright and creative property rights which revert back to the poets. Do not re-publish without permission from the poets. If you would like assistance in contacting the poets for their permission to re-publish, contact Stazja McFadyen at


Poems will be posted at