River of Words®
(ROW) conducts an environmental poetry and art contest for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12 every year. ROW is affiliated with The Library of Congress Center for the Book and St. Mary's College of California. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of their own watershed, and to express what they discover through poetry and art. Winners of the international contest will be announced in April of each year, and are honored in a mid-April ceremony at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. Eight grand prize winners from the US and a "Teach of the Year" will win round-trip transportation from the winner’s nearest major airport to Washington, D.C. from ROW International.
Entries not chosen as finalists or grand prize winners in the international contest are returned to Iowa, where they are judged in an Iowa statewide River of Words contest.
For specific information (artwork and poetry requirements, due dates, contact information, etc.) visit the ROW website
2012 River of Words Exhibit Schedule
August 5- September 15- Blank Park Zoo
, Des Moines, IA
October 1-31- Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
, Sioux City, IA
November 5-30- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
, Dubuque, IA
December 3-28 - Indian Creek Nature Center
, Cedar Rapids, IA
January 2-25, 2013 - Reiman Gardens
, Ames, IA
February 4- March 15 - Knoxville Public Library
, Knoxville, IA
April 6-7- Art on the Lake
, Honey Creek Resort State Park, Moravia, IA
April 22-25 - Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines, IA
Iowa Winner Grades 7-9: Sierra Findley
River of Words also publishes an annual poetry book of winning submissions, selected by Robert Hass, and exhibits the children’s paintings at museums, libraries, conferences, and other venues around the world. The contest is free, and every child is acknowledged with a personalized “Watershed Explorer” certificate. Children may enter on their own or through schools, nature centers, libraries, youth clubs, and other organizations.
For specific information (artwork and poetry requirements, due dates, contact information, etc.) visit the ROW website.
Here's how it works:
- Entries must be postmarked and submitted directly to River of Words by December 1st each year.
- ROW returns Iowa's entries to Iowa in April for Iowa's statewide competition.
- State winners are chosen in May.
Send entries by December 1 to:
River of Words
PO Box 5060
Moraga, CA 94575-5060
Exhibitors from previous years' contests
2011 Exhibit Program
2010 Exhibit Program
2009 Exhibit Program
2008 Exhibit Program
2007 Exhibit Program
2006 Exhibit Program
2005 Exhibit Program
2004 Exhibit Program