The UNSRC Society of Writers is part of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council, governed by and responsible to the laws of the Constitution of the UN Staff Recreation Council, the Secretary-General and General Assembly.
Membership in the UNSRC Society of Writers is open to current and retired staff members and their relatives as well as representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations, UN affiliated journalists, and the diplomatic community.
The Society of Writers seeks to promote the written word as a powerful and artistic tool in furthering the universal goals of the United Nations. We focus on working collaboratively with UN agencies as well as literary organizations within New York City and worldwide to create unique programs and publications which further the universal vision of world oneness through the artistic medium of language.
Rutgers University, Writers House
New Brunswick, New Jersey: 5 November 2015
Co-editor Darrel Alejandro Holnes organized and hosted a poetry reading at Rutgers University Writers House on 5 November 2015, where he teaches poetry and creative writing. National Book Award winning poet Mark Doty played a dual role as both reader and Professor of English and Director of Writers House in welcoming poets Meena Alexander, Javier Zamora and fellow Rutgers Professor and poet Abena Busia (in a digital appearance) to a reading and discussion on the poetry of happiness. Students shared in the lively and thoughtful Q&A which followed, opening with the question: How can poetry be a quest for peace? UNSRC Society of Writers member and co-editor Elizabeth Lara, acted as MC in this notable event which marked the first university appearance for Happiness the Delight-Tree.
Brooklyn Book Fair and The International Day of Peace
21 September 2015
Happiness and peace forged a perfect partnership at a two day event, beginning with the outdoor Brooklyn Book Festival held on Sunday 20 September 2015, where Happiness The Delight-Tree was one of hundreds of books featured to a lively crowd of literary patrons. The following evening, poets and United Nations staff honoured The International Day of Peace at an offical Brooklyn Book Festival Event held at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, in collaboration wth the UNSRC Society of Writers. The Rev. John E. Denaro, Rector of St. Ann’s welcomed the audience with a prayer for peace, followed by Ramu Damodaran (Chief, of the United Nations Academic Impact Outreach Division, DPI and President of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council), who spoke eloquently on the relationship between peace and happiness through the work of the United Nations and the participating poets. Feature performers included: Meena Alexander, Dara Barnat, Rei Berroa, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Sharon Dolin, Nilpushpi White, Michèle Voltaire Marcelin and musician Premik Russell Tubbs. Peace featured strongly as well in the choral arrangement of “Peace: God’s Beauty in His Oneness-Home,” by Sri Chinmoy and in, “A Moment’s Peace”, passing of the peace torch by the participants and the audience. A very special thanks to the generosity and kindness of Father Denaro and the staff of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church.
Dominican Republic: Happiness: The Delight-Tree
26 September 2015
Happiness The Delight-Tree, an Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry was presented on 26 September 2015 at the Ninth Dominican Book Fair in New York. The reading and discussion included poet Rei Berroa, whose poem “The Usefulness of Laughter” appears in the book, and New-York based Dominican poets Yrene Santos and Jose de la Rosa.
World Heart Beat Music Academy
Wandsworth, London: 30 June 2015
The World Heart Beat Music Academy exemplified the spirit of creativity as a universal form of communication when it welcomed poets, musicians and student performers (performing their original composition “Champions of the World”), to Happiness The Delight-Tree, a celebration in poetry and song on 30 June 2015. Following an opening reception, graciously offered by founder Sahana Gero, UNSRC Society of Writers President Bhikshuni Weisbrot joined co-editors Darrel Alejandro Holnes and Elizabeth Lara in an unprecedented evening, to host an array of international poets and musicians including: Gernot Blume (Germany), Shirin Razavian (Iran), Shazea Quraishi (Pakistan), Greta Stoddart (England), George Szirtes (Hungary) and Infinity’s Sky Music group, performing the songs of Sri Chinmoy and Igor Shaferan from the antholgy. A special thanks to the poets and performers who traveled long distances and braved an uncharacteristic London heatwave to grace the full house with an unforgettable evening.
Presentation and Book Signing, UN Bookshop, UN HQ, NY
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Happiness The Delight-Tree, an Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry was launched at the newly renovated UN Bookshop on 19 March 2015. The anthology, created in honour of the International Day of Happiness, 20 March includes poetry of 55 countries in 33 languages on the subject of happiness. The launch was announced at the earlier DPI/NGO event, “The Paradox of Income and Happiness”. Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, introduced Pultizer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who closed the program with his poem from the anthology, “With My Fish-Skin Drum.”
At the launch, on behalf of the UN Bookshop, Mr. Maher Nassar. Director, Outreach Division, DPI, welcomed a standing room only crowd to hear the poetry of Dara Barnat, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Sharon Dolin, Yusef Komunyakaa, Laren McClung, Yevgeny Yevtushenko (read by Dhirodata Moskalev), Javier Zamora. and UNSRC Society of Writers members Nilpushpi White and Di Zou. The eminent literary and cultural Homme de Lettres, H.E. Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Brazil, began the reading with an eloquent rendition of the title poem: “Happiness, the Delight-Tree”, by Sri Chinmoy. Co-editors Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Elizabeth Lara and Bhikshuni
Happiness: A Visual Poem
March 3 – 24, 2013
Celebrating the first United Nations International Day of Happiness, the Queens Museum of Art, in conjunction with the UNSRC Society of Writers, displays a visually arresting exhibit combining poetry with photographic images evoking different aspects of human happiness.
A Tribute and Celebration on the occasion of the birthday of Chinua Achebe
Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, UN Headquarters, New York, 5 November, 2013
The UN SRC Film Society and Rutgers University Writers House joined the UN SRC Society of Writers to celebrate the great Nigerian and world reknowned writer Chinua Achebe. The celebration was held on his birthday 15 November. Representing the Achebe family was his granddaughter Chochi Ejueyitchi, who shared her humerous and warm accounts of her grandfather. A host of luminaries from the worlds of education, literature and the arts joined with Ambassador Usman Sarki, Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria to share in a diverse and moving tribute of music, song, poetry, personal stories and film. “Things Fall Apart”, Chinua Achebe’s seminal work that transformed the world of African Literature and opened the world and possibilities of African literature for an upcoming generation of African writers was highlighted in readings by author Uwem Akpan (“Say You’re One of Them”), students responses by Educator Olutosin Mustapha of Frederick Douglas Academy VII High School and Darrel Alejandro Holnes of Rutgers Writers House and original composition by saxophonist David Engelhard. “Chinua Achebe” by Sri Chinmoy was performed by Singers from Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations and original poem “A Poet Daughter’s Farewell: Still Morning Yet” artfully written and read by Abena P.A. Busia, Professor and Chair, Department of women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University.
Family friend and distinguished professor of Africana-American and Africana Studies, Chukwuma Azuonye, traveling from University of Massachusetts, Boston, represented academia in sharing the global impact of Mr. Achebe’s work. The program ended with an interview filmed at Chinua Achebe’s home at Bard College Campus, 28 June 2008, where he taught and lived with his wife and family from 1998-2011 presented by UN SRC Film Society President Bahula Boring.
Discussion on The Vision of Thomas Jefferson
Conference Room 4 of the United Nations Secretariat on Friday 29 October 2004
Two admirers of Thomas Jefferson discussed the enduring power of his vision in today’s world:
Mr. Eric S. Petersen, Keynote Speaker, the Editor of the recently published book, Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness will speak on “Freedom in World Oneness: the Pursuit of Happiness through the Eyes of Thomas Jefferson.”
Mr. Willard Sterne Randall, renowned Author, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Historian will speak on “From Diplomat to President, From Idealist to Pragmatist”.
The United Nations SRC Society of Writers hosted this discussion on The Vision of Thomas Jefferson