Old Mill Road Media, the publisher of BERKSHIRE Magazine, has announced the winners of its first annual CREATE 4 FREEDOM Essay & Poetry Contest. One of them is a full-time mom, living in Williamstown.  

The Essay and Poetry Contest challenged writers to choose one of the four Freedoms —originally declared in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s address to Congress and made popular by Norman Rockwell’s The Four Freedoms—and express how and why it is still relevant today. The works were judged on their artistry, creativity, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. 

When we hosted The 4 Freedoms Festival® in Southern Vermont in the summer of 2018, almost all of our student art and poetry contestants focused their works on ‘Freedom from Fear’. While ‘Freedom from Fear’ was still strongly represented in this year’s essay and poetry entries—including this year’s winning poem... It is fascinating to see that ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Freedom from Want’ resonated deeply with many of this year’s entrants. Given the events of the last year, this is not surprising. These 4 Freedoms endure because they capture our collective experience—in every generation. ~ Dr. Joshua Sherman, owner/publisher of Berkshire Magazine 


The contest is co-sponsored by Arcadia Publishing and the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

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The winning essay is “The Freedom to Speak, and the Freedom to Listen” by Sophia Angele-Kuehn, who graduated from Connecticut College in May 2020 with a B.A. in English and is now working as a U.S. Teaching Assistant in Tyrol, Austria.  

The winning poem is “Water: unsafe to drink” by Ashleigh Catsos, a part-time fitness instructor and a full-time stay-at-home mom living in Williamstown who recently decided to pursue writing as more than a hobby. 

Each of the first-prize winners will receive a $1,250 cash prize, courtesy of Arcadia Publishing and the winning poem and essay will appear in the July 2021 edition of BERKSHIRE Magazine, on newsstands this week.  

The two winning entries also can be read here: CREATE 4 FREEDOM℠ Winning Essay and Poem. 

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