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On Environmental Guilt: Spring Poetry Competition 2022!

The Leiden University Green Office is pleased to announce its Spring Poetry competition, on the theme: (Environmental) Guilt!

The existential threat that is the climate crisis harms mental wellbeing in different ways, with terms like eco-stress, eco-anxiety, or even eco-rage becoming more popularised as climate-related disasters increase in numbers. But what of eco-Guilt? Environmental guilt reflects the dread associated with feeling as though you will never be doing enough to save the planet, and/or that you should be doing more. LUGO sees the relevance in acknowledging the validity of these feelings in its students and staff and providing a space to voice them through poetry. This Spring we ask you: What is your relationship to (environmental) Guilt? What is it to be guilty at all?  

“[…] How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only. […]” By Mary Oliver, from her poem: ‘The poet dreams of the mountain’.

To keep in mind:

  • Submissions open: April 13th. Deadline: May 3rd
  • Language: English. 
  • Only students and members of staff affiliated to Leiden University are eligible to submit poetry pieces to the competition. 
  • Submit your work to communication@lugo.leidenuniv.nl. Please include "Spring Poetry Competition Submission” in the subject line and include your name, Leiden University degree, and any relevant details in the body of your email (including whether or not you wish your submission to be anonymous).  
  • Prize: 50 Euro gift voucher and lovely plant! Accepted submissions will be published on the LUGO Press. Winning submissions will be further highlighted. 
  • Save the date: award ceremony and reading to take place May 10th, at Rapenburg 100, Leiden (more information to come). 

Judging criteria:

  • Choice of word and readability. 
  • Form and flow. 
  • Relevance to the theme: (Environmental) Guilt. 
  • Connection to topics of sustainability and environment. 
  • Originality / Creative interpretation of theme. 

Upon request, LUGO is willing to provide best practices for poetry writing. For more information, or if you have further questions, feel free to contact: communication@lugo.leidenuniv.nl. Happy writing! 

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