Congratulations to this year’s winners & finalists!

Artwork (above): “One World” by Rocky Zi Yuan Wan, age 12. Hong Kong. China. 2019 ROW Finalist

The River of Words team is thrilled to announce the Winners and Finalists of the 2019 River of Words Contest! Our judges had a difficult time choosing from the many art & poetry submissions we received from across the globe. Students submitted creative work exploring the human experience and its impact on the natural world around us—from rivers to cities, from oceans to school yards, from sidewalks to mountains, from snow days to wild animals, from an ant on a pencil to the sky.

Please join us in congratulating all the students, teachers, and parents who participated in this year's contest. Thank you to all student artists & poets for sharing their gorgeous work, and thank you to all teachers, parents, and guardians for facilitating their students' participation. We encourage our participants to continue exploring the world through art & poetry, and to continue inspiring others to save and protect our home: the earth.

Want to see the 2019 River of Words winning artwork and poetry? You can view them here


2019 Category I Winner

Poetry: Georgina Valenzuela, age 9, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Art: Ellie Chi, age 8, Duluth, Georgia. United States


2019 Category II Winner

Poetry: Jianeliz Rivera, age 11, Lancaster, Pennyslvania. United States

Art: Alexandra Huynh, age 9, Atlanta, Georgia. United States


2019 Category III Winner

Poetry: Aiden Nelson, age 14, New Orleans, Louisiana. United States

Art: Dhanhee Lee, age 12, Las Vegas, Nevada. United States


2019 Category IV Winner

Poetry: Zoe Chuang, age 15, Helena, Alabama. United States

Art: Christine Troll, age 17, Somerset, Pennsylvania. United States


2019 International Prize Winner

Kongamol Utaivattanapakdee, age 16, Bangkok. Thailand


Monkey’s Raincoat Prize (honoring a short poem in the haiku tradition)

Nikhil Patel, age 16, Chicago, Illinois. United States


One Square Block Prize (honoring a poem that examines city-scapes and the interactions between the manmade and the natural world)

Anling Chen, age 16, Staten Island, New York. United States


Shasta Bioregion Prize (honoring a artist or poet from a Northern California watershed)

Michelle Shen, age 12, Moraga, California. United States


2019 Poetry Finalists

Sarah Beetner, age 14, Rolla, Montana. United States

Cassidy Bishop, age 16, Loveland, Colorado. United States

Marie Blomeley, age 11, St. Mary’s, Georgia. United States

Marielle Brooks, age 10, Louisville, Colorado. United States

Ansley Burnett, age 11, Mableton, Georgia. United States

Noemi Celani, age 7, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Evelyn Yan Ching Cheung, age 5, Hong Kong. China

Charlotte Clark, age 7, Savannah, Georgia. United States

Zion Amin Cook, age 15, New Orleans, Louisiana. United States

Isha Deshmukh, age 7, Robbinsville, New Jersey. United States

Arrow Fagerstrom, age 7, Petaluma, California. United States

Carmella Piache Forcella, age 10, Davis, California. United States

Elizabeth Glendinning, age 15, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. United States

Paul C. Gubanich, age 10, South Lebanon, Ohio. United States

Millicent Helmka, age 13, New Orleans, Louisiana. United States

Sasha Homsy, age 12, Dublin, Ohio. United States

Maia Huddleston, age 17, Mattoon, Illinois. United States

Henry Kerr, age 13, Bath, Maine. United States

Alexandra Madaras, age 16, Mason, Ohio. United States

Datta Madhav, age 9, San Jose, California. United States

Zea Marty, age 14, Boone, North Carolina. United States

Hajirah Mohammed, age 8, Milton, Georgia. United States

Gabrielle Myers, age 10, Warner Robins, Georgia. United States

Cattien Nguyen, age 8, Morrow, Georgia. United States

Sebastien Perarnaud, age 7, Boulder, Colorado. United States

Nestor Powers, age 11, Windsor, Maine. United States

Alfredo Quintana, age 17. Spanish Fork, Utah. United States

Marlowe Recoing-Tallen, age 14, W. Boothbay Harbor, Maine. United States

Lia Rieth, age 9, Montesano, Washington. United States

Trey Rivera, age 13, Northampton, Massachusetts. United States

Violet Rodriguez, age 8, Hayward, California. United States

Jocelyn R. Sepuireda-Cocio, age 9, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Rachel Shin, age 12, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. United States

Magdalena Smith, age 16, Ithaca, New York. United States

Emmy Song, age 16, Rockville, Maryland. United States

Caroline Troll, age 12, Somerset, Pennsylvania. United States

Clare Troll, age 11, Somerset, Pennsylvania. United States


"On Writing" Finalists (for poems that reflect on the writing process)

Emily Grabovac, age 15, Vancouver. Canada

Alyssa Thompson, age 11, Tucson, Arizona. United States.


2019 Art Finalists

Maryanne Allen, age 10, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Evelyn Grace Brandon, age 8, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Naomi Cray, age 8, Smyrna, Georgia. United States

Lily Davis, age 16, Birmingham, Alabama. United States

Ashleigh Feltman, age 16, Chatsworth, Georgia. United States

Sophia Hu, age 8, Lilburn, Georgia. United States

Kwong Jay, age 9, Hong Kong. China

Kanyanan Jirathanapraser, age 10, Bangkok. Thailand

Isabella Kim, age 10, San Ramon, California. United States

Angelika Kunets, age 15, Antelope, California. United States

Seth Landers, age 9, Cumming, Georgia. United States

Bernice Liao, age 14, Suwanee, Georgia. United States

Rodrick Liu, age 7, Suwanee, Georgia. United States

Nyles Madison, age 7, Castro Valley, California. United States

Miles I. Mallory, age 15, Stone Mountain, Georgia. United States

Sean Mergenthaler, age 7, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Morgan Monje, age 8, Milton, Georgia. United States

Naratnan Nimitpornsuko, age 10, Bangkok. Thailand

Ithiya Oophaichit, age 7, Bangkok. Thailand

Andrea Sampson, age 15, Tucson, Arizona. United States

Muhammad Shafiq, age 18, Quetta. Pakistan

James Stephens, age 12, Birmingham, Alabama. United States

Radu Sudarshan, age 12, Birmingham, Alabama. United States

Venus Lam Wai Sum, age 14, Hong Kong. China

Michael Tappler, age 16, Douglasville, Georgia. United States

Clare Troll, age 11, Somerset, Pennsylvania. United States

Rocky Zi Yuan Wan, age 12, Hong Kong. China

Catherine Wang, age 16, Duluth, Georgia. United States

Kandace Wang, age 11, Duluth, Georgia. United States

Nancy Wang, age 11, Lilburn, Georgia. United States

Ashley Wu, age 9, Johns Creek, Georgia. United States

Zip Wing Yan, age 9, Hong Kong. China

Alex Zhai, age 15, Saratoga, California. United States

Zihan Zhao, age 13, Duluth, Georgia. United States

Liu Nga Ching Zoe, age 14, Hong Kong. China


Our 2019 winners and finalists hail from:

United States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington

And Elsewhere: Canada, China, Pakistan, Thailand

We give special thanks to our guest 2019 Poetry and Art Judges for making all this possible: Robert Haas, Luz Casquejo Johnston, Anna Harmon, David Wood, Andrew Mount, Amanda Moser, Alexa Olivera, and Sierra Miller. And of course to the ROW Team: Maureen Esty, Rachel Feinberg, Ed Hirtzel, Ambereise McElrath, and Florencia Orlandoni.

If you or someone you know are eligible for the 2020 contest, Online Student Entry Forms are available on our website. You can find your appropriate Deadlines and Mailing Address at the bottom of the River of Words Art and Poetry Contest page.