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 Contest
ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS
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 www.poetswithoutborders.org
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.
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
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
FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION
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
I have known the fragile weight of you,
destroyed, in my open arms as despair
swallowed me on the rocky shores of
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
Smelled the acrid stench of burning wire,
choking me, stinging my eyes as I trudged
knee deep in filth to bring your children
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
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
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
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.
"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
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
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.
There are cash prizes for 1st and 2nd places.
What are Human Rights? www.humanrights.com
For more information, contact