April 22, 2002 "River of Words" Awards Ceremony at the Library of Congress Saturday, April 27

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

The seventh annual awards ceremony for the student grand prize and regional winners in the "River of Words" environment poetry and art contest will be held at the Library of Congress at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Sponsored by the Center for the Book, the program features poetry readings by the winning authors and a display of the winning artworks by their young (kindergarten through 12th grade) creators. The ceremony will take place in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Library's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.

Deborah A. Simmons of The Washington Times will introduce the winners and serve as program moderator. There will be a booksigning following the ceremony at which the honorees will autograph the just-released annual book of winning poems and art, River of Words: The Natural World as Viewed by Young People.

"Eleven of our affiliated state centers are statewide River of Words sponsors," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole. "The national awards ceremony is one of the Center for the Book's most popular public events. Proud parents and family members encourage the young poets and artists and help make it a festive and meaningful day."

Founded in 1995 by writer Pamela Michael and Robert Hass, who served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1995 to 1997, River of Words is an international poetry and art program created to promote literacy and environmental stewardship. The project, explains Hass, "tries to alert kids to the natural world and its connection to artistic expression and the human spirit." Executive director Michael said: "We are expanding the local partnership and community outreach program for River of Words. We offer teacher training workshops, a 260-page curriculum guide, help in curriculum design, contest coordination help at the regional and local levels, as well as media support." For further information or to view the winning art and poetry, visit the River of Words Web site www.riverofwords.org.

River of Words is supported by contributions from the Center for Ecoliteracy, the San Francisco Foundation, the Boals Fund, the Compton Foundation, the Jane Rogers and Michael Fischer Fund, Margaret Schink, the Norcross Foundation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. For information about its projects and those of its affiliated state centers and national reading promotion partners, see its Web site: www.loc.gov/cfbook .


PR 02-059
ISSN 0731-3527