TITLE: River of Words Awards 2006
SPEAKER: Robert Hass
EVENT DATE: 04/22/2006
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass returned to the Library of Congress to moderate a program honoring the student winners of the 10th annual River of Words environmental poetry and art contest.
Young poets and artists, in kindergarten through 12th grade from around the country, read their poems, displayed their winning works of art and talked with Hass about their work. Connie McDonald, the River of Words Teacher of the Year, also was honored. She teaches at the Louisiana State Lab School in Baton Rouge.
The ceremony, which honors the winners and their families, included the presentation of awards in four categories:
--International Award: Leung Man Wai, 11, Hong Kong, China
--Poetry Grand Prizes: Avery Forsythe, 8, Crested Butte, Colo.; Devin Felter, 12, New Windsor, N.Y.; Audrey Larkin, 12, San Francisco, Calif; Diana Chien, 17, Holmdel, N.J.
--Art Grand Prizes: Keeley Christiansen, 6, Watsonville, Calif.; Kieran McElvaney, 9, Marietta, Ga.; You Na Park, 15, Lorton, Va.; John Dixon,17, Hollister, Calif.
--Monkey's Raincoat Haiku Prize: Clay McMullen, 11, Chesterfield, Ohio
Hass and writer Pamela Michael founded River of Words in 1995 to promote literacy, the arts and environmental awareness. Hass said, "Our goal is to help children fall in love with the earth." A nonprofit organization, River of Words offers a wide range of educational opportunities for teachers and students, as well as local partnership and community outreach programs, publications and exhibitions. "We help children become informed, engaged and inspired citizens of the places they live," said co-founder Michael. River of Words recently opened one of the first art galleries in the country devoted to children's art. More than 50 paintings by this year's contest winners will be displayed at the gallery in Berkeley, Calif., in June.
Speaker Biography: Robert Hass was born in San Francisco in 1941. His books of poetry include "Sun Under Wood: New Poems" (Ecco Press, 1996); "Human Wishes" (1989), "Praise (1979)" and "Field Guide" (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. He has also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz, most recently "Facing the River" (1995), and is author or editor of several other collections of essays and translation, including "The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa" (1994) and "Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry" (1984). He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and is currently a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He lives in California and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.