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
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
Anita was a member of this unique contemporary art gallery.
Visit their website at:
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
KILLING OF THE POETS
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.
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
ONLY AMONG THE WISE
“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
she reads the holy bible
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 email@example.com
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 poetswithoutborders.org
For more information on future submissions go to poetswithoutborders.org
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
The prison door swung open.
I scurried through
Crisscrossing stitches of darkness,
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poems will be posted at poetswithoutborders.org