Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 and citizens are called upon to do their part in protecting the environment, to promote and participate in “green living” and to celebrate our natural resources.
Conducted in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book and the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s College of California, the annual River of Words contest – which celebrates both National Poetry Month and Earth Day – is the largest youth poetry and art competition in the world, recognizing educational leadership in environmental literacy. Ten remarkable young poets and artists – ranging in age from 7 to 16 – and more than a dozen national finalists will be honored at the 17th annual awards on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in the Library’s Montpelier Room.
Co-founded by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass and Pamela Michael, who now directs the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s, the goal of the contest is to “help children fall in love with the earth.”
Category I (Kindergarten – second grade) Grand Prize winner Blakely Berryhill, 7, from Vestavia Hills, Ala., writes in her poem, “The Guards”:
The sun guards the daytime treasure,
while the moon stands watch
over heaven’s darkness.
The stars help the moon
until the puffy white
clouds come back.
11-year-old Julia Dixon of Washington, D.C., winner of the Anacostia Watershed Prize, laments urban sprawl in her poem, “A Birdseye View”:
As we feast upon dying species
And blame sharks for it all
The taxes we pay
Going into nuclear plants
Instead of schools