Fighting Hunger: Turning Poetry into Food

Logo artwork by Diane Wilbon Parks, all rights reserved

Hunger is everywhere and anywhere. And, thanks to pandemics, conflicts and climate change and politics, it’s on the rise big time. Just google “hunger” and you’ll see what’s going on.

In case you didn’t know, poets are fighting back.

Hiram Larew, Ph.d. founded www.poetryxhunger.com in 2017 to put poets and creatives to work bringing awareness to the persistent problem of global hunger. The initiative is his call for poets to write about hunger, because he believes that poetry has the power to touch hearts and minds in a way that statistics can struggle to communicate.

In his own words:

I founded Poetry X Hunger a few years ago to bring a world of poets to the anti-hunger cause. With partners like the United Nations, Feed the Children, arts councils and many food banks, more than 400 poems by poets near and far are now published on the website.

And, those poems are being put to work.

In 2023, Poetry X Hunger poets along with other creatives used readings and auctions to raise more than $10,000 US for global and US-based hunger-fighting organizations like Seed Programs International and Roots for Life. And yes, Feed the Children featured a Poetry X Hunger poem as voiceover in an internationally-aired Public Service Announcement. Even more recently, another poem on the website was selected as the lyric for a newly commissioned composition featuring a string quartet and a chorale. The soon-to-be released recording is amazing.

All to say, poets are turning their poetry into food.

Join us by writing and submitting your poetry about empty-stomach poetry for possible publication on the website. Here are the Submission Guidelines. The organization can be contacted at PoetryXHunger@gmail.com.

Since earning two degrees from Oregon State University (an MS in Botany and Plant Pathology in 1977 and a PhD in Entomology in 1981) Dr. Hiram Larew rose to prominence in the science, policy, and management of the US Government’s international agricultural sciences programs. Dr. Larew has won the hearts and minds of people around the world by helping to fill empty stomachs. His poetry has been nominated four times for national Pushcart Prizes, and he has received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for his poetry activities. His poems have appeared widely in journals and books in the U.S., Germany, Britain, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Ireland and elsewhere.  His fourth collection, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. You can find out more about Hiram’s own poetry on his website.

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