Top of page

Down to Earth

Share this post:

"Nothing can be Wealthier than Saving the Humanity," by Rohullah Hassani, 16, Quetta, Pakistan

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.

"Relaxing on Water," by Kristina Yu, 6, Suwanee, Ga.

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

The artwork and poems of all the winners are available for viewing and reading at the River of Words website. May they inspire you to “Mobilize the Earth.”



  1. The picture of Christina is splendid.
    “Composition” and “gradation to express a wave”
    She designs it with light blue in the wave.
    I think that she will become a promising painter in the future.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.