Playing with an Elephant by H.N. Rathnayaka, age 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Remembered Water by Eunsil Choi, age 17, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Hungry Bird by Erick Andrews, age 11, Normandy Park, Washington
Summer Showers by Loren Kim, age 15, Fairfax Station, Virginia
Birds over the Bay by Kevin Huo, age 10, Foster City, California
Enjoying Nature by Kwok Yen Yi, age 9, Hong Kong, China
2009 River of Words Grand Prize Winner Jake Barrios, age 7, from Watsonville, California at the River of Words Youth Recognition Awards Ceremony at the Library of Congress.
Photo by John McShane
Teacher training workshop in Dete, Zimbabwe led by Pamela Michael, co-founder of River of Words and director for the Kalmanovitz School of Education’s Center for Environmental Literacy.
Photo by Painted Dog Society
2005 River of Words International Prize winner, Hayatullah Haidari, a Taliban victim and Afghan refugee, with his winning artwork (a self-portrait entitled Sadness) at the Library of Congress award ceremony.
Photo by Pamela Michael
River of Words encourages both teachers and students to become “ecoliterate” through poetry and art. Its interactive curriculum works to build curiosity and encourage critical thinking. Founded by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass and writer-activist Pamela Michael, River of Words holds an annual nationwide art and poetry contest on the theme of watersheds. Judged by co-founders Hass and Michael, students have a chance to combine their art talent with science and conservation. Inspired by nature and the inspiration that nature has given artists and poets for centuries, this contest sheds light on the importance of environmental and arts education (which is often marginalized in the United States). River of Words has also achieved much success in its training workshops, traveling exhibitions, and teacher training.