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Home About Us News Room Press Releases River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Project
River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Project
Written by Curtis Rogers   
Friday, 14 December 2007 12:32

River of Words River of Words (ROW), a non-profit organization, was founded in 1995 by then-US Poet Laureate Robert Hass and writer Pamela Michael. The South Carolina Center for the Book in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book encourages students to participate in this international poetry and art contest for students in grades K-12.

River of Words is an arts and environmental education program that:

  • nurtures respect for and understanding of the natural world
  • promotes literacy in all its forms
  • trains teachers how to integrate the arts into core curriculum subjects
  • gives youth a forum for expressing their creativity and concerns
  • helps children develop a sense of belonging to a particular place
  • builds community partnerships
  • leverages existing resources in support of education
  • facilitates interdisciplinary teaching methods
  • distributes, publishes and displays children’s art & poetry
  • publishes an Educator’s Guide and curriculum support materials

ROW logoEach April, eight US winners, one international winner, and a “ROW Teacher of the Year” are honored (during National Poetry Month) at an Award Ceremony at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

River of Words publishes an annual poetry book of winning submissions, selected by Robert Hass. Winning artwork pieces are exhibited at museums, libraries, conferences and other venues around the world. Through the website and many workshops and presentations around the country, the project provides students and teachers—and their communities—with tools, inspiration and incentive to begin exploring the natural and cultural history of their own homegrounds.

The contest is free, and every entry is acknowledged with a personalized “Watershed Explorer” certificate. Students may enter on their own or through schools, nature centers, libraries, youth clubs and other organizations. Girl Scouts can earn their “Water Drop” patch by entering the contest and fulfilling other requirements (

The contest deadline is: North American entries—postmarked by February 15 International entries—received by March 1A brief informational video is available at

For more information, visit

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