Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

October 23, 1998

"River of Words" Poetry and Art Contest for 1999 Announced

Former U.S. Poet Laureate (1995-97) Robert Hass, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and the International Rivers Network have announced the procedures and deadlines for the fourth annual "River of Words" environmental poetry and art contest for children. Open to children from kindergarten through the 12th grade, the contest is free for young poets and artists from 5 to 19 years of age. The theme is "watersheds." One international winner plus eight national grand prize winners and their parents will win trips to Washington and will be honored during a program at the Library of Congress on May 4, 1999.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15, 1999. A panel of judges, headed by Mr. Hass, will choose the winners. Last year, thousands of children from 44 states and 10 countries submitted poems and artwork about their natural surroundings.

"The River of Words Project strives to give children a sense of place and belonging," said project co-founder Mr. Hass. "We encourage children to explore their neighborhoods, schoolyards, creeks, and imaginations," added project director and co-founder Pamela Michael. Using an innovative, multidisciplinary curriculum developed by River of Words -- called Watershed Explorer -- that combines art, science, and language, students gain an understanding of their ecosystems, culture, and history. Many of the state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress are "River of Words" participants.

For contest entry forms and guidelines, contact River of Words, P.O. Box 4000-J, Berkeley, CA 94704, telephone (510) 433-7020, fax (510) 848-1008, e-mail: row@irn.org, internet: www.irn.org. The 50-page River of Words Teacher's Guide is available from the same source for $6, including postage and handling.

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PR 98-173
10/23/98
ISSN 0731-3527

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