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 Contest

Poets for Human Rights proudly announces the 2021 Anita McAndrews Award and 2021 Renee Duke Youth Award Poetry Contests are open for submissions. 

1.  2021 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest.

    *Theme is human rights.  Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of          Human Rights is recommended.


*Submit up to three poems. 

*No simultaneous submissions or previously published poems.

*Any poetic style or form is allowed.  No graphics. No handwritten poems.

*Multi-lingual poems are welcome. Include translation in English.

*Length limit – 1 page 8 1/2 x 11, 12 point font or larger. Left-justified.

*Cover sheet – include your name, address, phone number, email address,      poem title(s), permission to publish, brief bio.

Submission options:

1. *Mail hard copy entries to Stazja McFadyen, 1006 Vapor Drive, Pflugerville,   Texas 78660.  Send two copies: one copy to include your name and   contact information, one blind copy without identifying information.       Postmark deadline: November 30, 2021.


2. *Email entries to     

 Send entries in the body of email, or as pdf attachments.


Winning poems will be announced and read at Poets for Human Rights annual awards on or around December 10, 2021 - 73nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and will be published on the Poets Without Borders website.

First prize $250, Second prize $100, Third prize $50.


For more information, contact


Visit to read the winning poems for 2020 Anita McAndrews Award poetry contest.


2.  2021 Renee Duke Youth Award poetry contest :

  Poets for Human Rights is accepting submissions of up to three poems        from poets aged 17 or younger.

  Theme: Universal Declaration of Human Rights or any of the 30 articles of    the UDHR.

Format:  Left justified, 12 point font. No colors, no graphics.

Multi-lingual poems are welcome. Include English translation.

Length:  Up to 96 lines – 1 letter-size page.

Submissions deadline: November 30, 2021


No simultaneous submissions or previously published poems.


Submit poems by email to, in body of email or pdf attachment. No hyperlinks or word.doc attachments will be considered.


In subject line, write “poetry contest”


Cover sheet : Include name, address, age, school and grade, permission to publish, poem title(s). Short bio is optional.


1st Prize - $200, 2nd Prize - $75, 3rd Prize - $25.


Winning poems will be announced and read at Poets for Human Rights annual awards on or around Dec. 10, the 73rd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and will be published on the Poets Without Borders website.

For more information, contact

Visit to read the winning poems for 2020 Renee Duke Youth Award poetry contest.



                   ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS FOR 2020

Poets for Human Rights is very pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest


This year's contest drew 120 poems from fourteen countries.  Each contributing poet is thanked and encouraged to continue to raise your voice in support of human rights.


Brett Axel, who judged the 2020 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest, made the selections for 1st Prize and 2nd Prize:


1st Prize - "Beloved: A Poem for Palestine"

Poet - Leia John, New York City


2nd Prize - "Feast of the Annunciation"

Poet - Diana Woodcock, Midlothian, VA


Also awarded Honorable Mention - "Burning Villages"

Poet - Kirandeep Singh, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India


The poems were announced and read at the Poets for Human Rights annual awards event in Dunedin, Florida on Sunday, Dec.13.


You can read the winning and honorable mention poems below and also at


Grateful acknowledgment to every poet who submitted your work for the contest.

Thanks to Brett Axel for judging this year's contest.

Thanks to Kate Sweet and Anita McAndrews Welch for your continued support and presentation of the Poets for Human Rights annual awards event.


Thanks to Larry Jaffe, co-founder of Poets for Human Rights and curator of Poets Without Borders, for hosting the publication of the poems.


Much love,

Stazja McFadyen

Co-founder, Poets for Human Rights

Judge for the Anita McAndrews Poets for Human Rights 2020 contest:

Brett Axel from Buffalo, NY.

Brett Axel's poetry, fiction, and book reviews have appeared in over 100 literary journals and magazines. He has three collections of poetry in print, edited the poetry anthology Will Work For Peace, wrote the critically acclaimed children's books, Goblinheart: a Fairy Tale. His current book is Not Okay, a novel.

Results for the 2020 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest


Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide

his frustration with society.


His poem Dreams for Hire was given honorable mention.



                       Dreams for Hire

         after Ilya Kaminsky & Jericho Brown


The lives I've chosen to live

Are enough to fill a room with

Newborn birds & ghosts.

Maybe nothing here is lovely.

Or maybe a child is most interesting

When he marvels at the swallow’s

Cry for home. Tonight, marks the

First day of spring in glitter.

& I think of the days when the

Accidental blood in my thighs meant

I am still searching for poems that come

Like gentle allies at midnight— a sort of

Ritual that will bring my mother & I closer.

I keep telling myself to walk as if my hand

Can comfort a human sculpture. The people

Of my country believe unhearing is our

Only barrier. I ruffle the pillows & I

Wonder if dancing on our bruises

Is a question of values. All things

Are migratory because we understand

Shadows. We recognize joy & gratitude in

Various stages of intimacy. The skies of this

Poem are teeming with human rights & ideology—

I wear my country like a dress. In certain parts

Of the world, my body is an altar in disorder.

An island that smells of iodine & polyps.

Postmodernism is a disguise. Please don’t

Take me for tragic. The slatted light betrays

The most animal in us— I am a garland of bells

In this space of Brexit & borderlines. Like when a

Dead child is covered in petals & motherland

Undresses me & recounts: two million

Undocumented children.



Diana Woodcock is the author of seven chapbooks and three poetry collections, most recently Tread Softly (FutureCycle Press, 2018) and Near the Arctic Circle (Tiger’s Eye Press, 2018). She has two books forthcoming in 2021: Facing Aridity (a finalist for the 2020 Prism Prize for Climate Literature, Homebound Publications); and Holy Sparks (a finalist for the Paraclete Press Poetry Award). Recipient of the 2011 Vernice Quebodeaux Pathways Poetry Prize for Women for her debut collection, Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders, her work appears in Best New Poets 2008 and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Currently teaching in Qatar at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, where her research was an inquiry into the role of poetry in the search for an environmental ethic.


Her poem Feast of the Annunciation was awarded second prize for the 2020 Anita McAndrews Award poetry contest




Created free, we have not used

  our freedom well. We have refused

to make a just and equal world –

  pillaging the earth, robbing the poor,

colonizing and terrorizing the vulnerable.

  Always there’ve been a few who’ve

tried to stem the tide, but still too many

  members of indigenous tribes

have died trying to defend their land.

  What we need these days

is more of us casting a personal gaze

  on suffering people, willing to

accompany them, this art . . . which

  teaches us to remove our sandals

before the sacred ground of the other.*

  What we need is more of us walking with

those for whom greed is the enemy they fight

  against for the right to remain on their land,

more of us in the ministry of presence

  where we can grasp the struggles,

encourage the possibilities, actively practice

  patience, live dangerously (like Dorothy

Stang shot six times defending the Amazon).

  Created free, how can it be we give up so

easily on reshaping the heartbreaking world?

  Ponder the three wounds:

contrition, compassion, yearning

  for God.** We could be one.

Put on your bravest face, and brace

  for the fight of your life in this white

darkness, or dark whiteness,

  depending on your perspective.

And reflect on this: the risk

  of death is nothing compared

to the sickness of indifference and

  forgetfulness of our collective past sins.

Ask to be forgiven, then vow to dig in,

  no matter how impossible it seems to right

the wrongs. Sing a new song of hope,

  recalling the Shawnee and Tecumseh.

Pray for a new day when we’ll all

  be worthy of being created free.


*Pope Francis, 2013, describing accompaniment

**Julian of Norwich




Leia John is a writer, seminarian and human rights activist based in New York, USA. She studies Social Ethics and theology at Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan and is currently an intern at the General Board of Global Ministries at the United Nations. Her passion for writing began at a young age and blossomed in to a full-on compulsion in her late teens. When she is not busy attempting to survive on coffee in an effort to finish her school work, she is either furiously scribbling in her notebook or passionately advocating for Palestinian human rights.



Her poem Beloved: A Poem for Palestine is the 1st Prize winner of the 2020 Anita McAndrews Award poetry contest


Beloved: A Poem for Palestine


You called me to the ends of the Earth,

the place where your breath sighs,

so that I might suffer to find



I met you at every step, the ochre

Judean sands gritting between my

toes as I tried to match you;

heel to toe.


Your spirit whipping my hair, as

I traced the desolate crescendos

of the South Hebron Hills in the dying

winter light.


I have known the fragile weight of you,

destroyed, in my open arms as despair

swallowed me on the rocky shores of

the Kinneret.


Heard your voice transform from singing

in a sumptuous Arabito the shrill scream

of terror as I stood, useless, on the rooftops:



I have seen your face in its forms of hurt

and healing; bruised purple, smeared with

blood, swollen; the gift of a crazed soldier

or settler.


Smelled the acrid stench of burning wire,

choking me, stinging my eyes as I trudged

knee deep in filth to bring your children

to kindergarten.




You have called to where my heart throbs

thrice: Fal-a-steen -and I can’t ever hope

to rid myself of the land, the people, or

the life.


You invite me, now, to receive you in

the fruit of the vine, to fill myself

with your sacrifice so that I might match you

heel to toe.


Kinneret (archaeological site), biblical city which gave the Sea of Galilee its Hebrew name

Al-Khalil is the Arabic name for Hebron, a city in the southern West Bank.

Falasteen is of Arabic origin and means "Blessed Land or a land of believers".

                       Renee Duke Youth Award Poetry Contest Results


1st Prize – "Generation Z" by Dana Serea


                                                         Generation Z


You say we’re too young, too young to be feminists, too young to know our own sexuality,

too young to be depressed, too young to protest, too young to be activists, too young, and too naïve.

And you’re right. We are too young.


Too young to be scared of bullets that fly through Janice’s school, embedding themselves into

her classmates’ skin like sequins. Too young to watch the life from her best friend Kaysha’s eyes flickering out, knowing she will never be able to apologize for that stupid fight they had,

knowing she will never be able to laugh, smile, or talk with her again, knowing she will never be able to hug her again, knowing she will never be able to tell her she loved her one more time.


Too young for Sophia to be scared of being raped when she walks down the street in her school uniform. Too young to feel the man’s eyes watching her—and she knows she should have waited for someone to walk with her. She just wanted to go home and get ahead on school work. If something happens to Sophia now, “it’s her fault.”


Too young for Justin to be scared when he finds his friend Ella dead in a sticky pool of crimson blood, because slitting her wrists and watching her blood flow was better than living. Too young for Miles to find his sister Ramona’s body cold on the bathroom floor, candy-colored pills scattered around and stuffed down her throat because she’d rather go out in a loopy daze than try to fight her torments, and he couldn’t make it home in time to stop her.


Too young for Zach to be scared of seeing a familiar face on the evening news because Jordan was black and looked older than his age, and the white cop shot him in “self defense,” though Jordan was unarmed. Or because Elias was Muslim, carrying a “suspicious bag,” and he was shot and later died because the police thought he was a “terrorist.” All Elias wanted was to get home to his mom and little sister to give them a jewelry box, now in pieces on the concrete next to the spilled jewels of his blood.


Too young for Logan to be scared of finding her LGBTQ+ friends killed, abandoned, or sent off to conversion camp. All they wanted was love and acceptance, but they instead found hate and rejection because they were “disgusting sinners” who were just “confused.” Now Katie is finally back from camp, but she doesn’t even remember Logan’s damn name.


Too young for Sharon to sob with grief for people dear to her that were killed. No one would help them because their cries were “fake,” because they were “too young” to know real pain. Too young to be scarred, bruised, and bloodied by wars we didn’t start or choose to fight.


You say we’re too young, and you’re right. We are too young: too young for homophobia, racism, sexism, rape, self harm, suicide, gun violence, and school shootings to be normal to us.


Yes, we’re too young. My generation was born with the world burning our fingertips, and we’ve been told to sit still and be quiet because adults were talking.


You had your chance. Now, it’s our turn to speak, our turn to fight. With every ragged breath we take, our lungs are shredded by society’s hate. Janice, Kaysha, Sophia, Justin, Ella, Miles, Ramona, Zach, Elias, Logan, Katie, Sharon, and too many more, too young. We yell for change because the death and the blood of our friends paved the path for our revolution.


Our rage is pure fire, and we’re not too young to rise.


About the poet – Dana Serea is a 17-year-old junior at Rutherford High School in Rutherford, NJ. She loves competitive swimming, photography, and writing. Her work has been published in Canvas Literary Journal, Lunch Ticket, Bluefire, and in the Poetry Society of Virginia anthology. She is the winner of a Scholastic Art & Writing National Gold Medal, as well as a Gold Key winner for the state of New Jersey two years in a row. She also won the first place in the Storytellers of Tomorrow writing contest this year and several third places and honorable mentions for her poetry and prose.

2nd Prize – "It Is Not Okay" by Subyeta Chowdhury


                                          It Is Not Okay 


                               It is not okay to

                               see others with prejudice

                               and to judge them based on

                               something they cannot change

                               It is not okay to

                               be a cause of discomfort

                               in someone’s life

                               simply because you do not agree

                               with their way of life

                               It is not okay to

                               limit someone’s freedom

                               for your own enjoyment

                               It is not okay to

                               treat someone

                               any less than a human

                               But it is okay to

                               love and appreciate

                               the differences between people

                               To cherish the many faces

                               And to celebrate the

                               different ways of life

                               Because after all

                               Underneath all our differences

                               We all are human

                               born with the language of compassion and love

                               It is time we now use it

                               when talking with others


About the poet - Subyeta Chowdhury is a 17-year-old student in New York City. 

                                 Honorable Mentions


"Debunking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Poem" by Tamia Bradham


Article 1. We Are All Born Free and Equal.

This one only applies to rich, white, Christian men. 


Article 2. Do Not Discriminate.

I was only 14 when the Upper-middle-class White Boy approached me

He had auburn hair that sweeps in waves around the crown of his head

He was a Football-Playing-American-Beauty with sandpaper for a tongue

He had no remorse when he told me,

He would never date a black girl.


Article 3. The Right to Life. 

A desperate plea for assistance set camp on the center of his tongue. 

The muscles around his airways contracted and contorted, and his bronchial tubes narrowed in response. 

My uncle was dying. 

He clambered on top of the mahogany table, his knees scratching harshly against the wood as he cried out for assistance that would never come. 

The nurse watched.

They did not bother to help him.

As if this was a common occurrence during work. 

As if a black man’s death is nothing more than trivial. 

As if it is nothing more than the lead story on a Sunday morning news channel. 

As if his life did not matter. 

My uncle died. 


Article 4: No Slavery. 

Do I really have to explain this one?


Article 5: No Torture.

By the age of five, I knew my uncle’s eulogy like the lyrics to my favorite song.


Article 14: The Right to Seek a Safe Place to Live. 

Does this article apply to Mexicans, or is it only an American thing? 


Article 18: Freedom of thought.

Malcolm X got shot for this one.


Article 19: Freedom of expression.

Martin Luther King Jr. got shot because of this one. 


Article 30: No One Can Take Away Your Human Rights. 

Unless you are a minority.


About the poet – Tamia Bradham is a 17-year-old high school student, from Willingboro, NJ


"protest poem" by Marlowe Whittenburg



                                              protest poem


I would like to protest about rights not only for people but for animals too 

for people but for animals too to have equal rights 

for people but for animals too to be able not to worry just walking to a different neighborhood  

not only for people but animals too, to not insult so you don't have to pay the price for people but for animals too to have rights to everything they need to money, to freedom, to happiness to friends, to live a free life this is what everyone deserves 

not only people but for animals too and not only animals but people for things to go on without argument the lay of the land you play the game and you don't cheat and you play the game without any arguing, trial getting mad and doing things that they aren't supposed to 

all anything that lives should have this and anything that has a heart literally and figuratively would agree with me 

whether they're real or fake, alive or dead, living non-living, your pet, your mom, your cactus, your skateboard, lucky penny, book, baseball card, shoes, basketball, stuffed animal, candy, coat, dog, imaginary friend, imaginary dog, doll, action figure, comic book, computer, apple pie, book bag, friends 

for people but for animals too.


About the poet - Marlowe Whittenberg, age 11, lives in Philadelphia, PA.


Time to Love" by Matthew Okoniewski


                                               Time to Love

                                    When it’s almost totally dark

I                                           t’s the best time

                                       Because it is the color

                                                 Of hearts


                                            But at any time

                                              We can love.


About the poet – Matthew Okoniewski is 9 years old. He lives in Garnet Valley, PA.


Congratulations and thanks to each of the poets, who have agreed to one time publication rights by Poets for Human Rights.

For more information on submitting for the upcoming  2021 poetry contest, contact 


There are cash prizes for 1st and 2nd places.

*Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign:


 What are Human Rights?

For more information, contact