Hang in there!  We're close to naming our 2015 River of Words Contest winners! Please forgive our lateness this year. Many events conspired to slow down the contest process--including our director breaking her arm and kneecap in a bad fall. We've received entries from almost thirty (and still counting!) countries and have whittled the many wonderful submissions down to about two hundred, from which the Grand Prize winners and finalists will be chosen. Stay tuned.

2015 Entry Forms


Submit your poems online. (Individual entries only)

Current entry forms are available on this website.

Be sure to send your entries to the correct address. Our old Berkeley, CA PO box is now closed. Entries sent to that address will not be entered in the contest. 


Note: Due to rising costs and concerns about the environmental impact of air travel, River of Words grand prize winners will no longer be flown to the spring award ceremony in California. We will still have a grand ceremony and will honor those winners and finalists who either live nearby or are able to make the trip at their own expense. Winning art and poetry will still be published in our annual anthology and on our website.

Take a look at our 2014 contest winners' work!

Grand Prize winners and our Teacher of the Year were be honored at the 2014 Youth Creativity Awards on June 15 at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California (just outside San Francisco). Our annual anthology will be available in early May. Prints of the artwork will be available in mid-April. 

We received entries from 35 States and the District of Columbia, as well as from 17 other countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Serbia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom. This year, owls and deer seemed to be the theme of many submissions, particularly the art entries. As usual, it was painful and difficult for the judges to make their selections.

(Drum roll) Here they are -- click for a list of winners!

Click here for winning and finalist art!

Click here for winning and finalist poetry!

(For full press release, see here.)

Promoting Environmental Literacy through the Arts and Cultural Exchange

River of Words® (ROW) is a program of The Center for Environmental Literacy and a part of the Kalmanovitz School of Education.  Acknowledged pioneers in the field of place-based education, River of Words has been inspiring educators and their students for over seventeen years with an innovative blend of science and the arts.

River of Words is its own watershed: a linked network of people throughout the United States and the world who are committed to teaching the art and poetry of place to young people. Since 1995, River of Words has encouraged young people to explore and savor the watersheds where they live and trained educators to guide them with inspiration and passion. Through professional development and other educational services, traveling exhibits, publications and community programs, ROW reaches thousands of educators and young people around the world.

ROW was co-founded in 1995 by writer and activist Pamela Michael and then-US Poet Laureate (and SMC alumnus) Robert Hass. One of the program’s most noteworthy events, conducted in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, is a free, annual international poetry and art contest for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. ROW has donated their collection of children’s art—the largest in the world—to Saint Mary’s Hearst Art Gallery, which will exhibit the work and make it available for scholarly research. There are many opportunities available for SMC faculty to collaborate with this innovative and dynamic program through the Center for Environmental Literacy. For more information please contact Pamela Michael, River of Words co-founder and director of Saint Mary's Center for Environmental Literacy, at [email protected] or 925-631-4289.


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Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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