What is River of Words looking for in art and poetry?

Do you know an artist or poet thinking of submitting to River of Words?

River of Words: The Natural World as Viewed by Young People

The River of Words anthology creates a space to support and magnify the voices of youth poets and artists. Unfortunately we can't publish all the wonderful artwork and poetry that we receive every year. Since River of Words is deticated to environmental literacy and seeks to inspire youth to explore their watersheds, submissions should address one's environment, or one's watershed, in some way. But, what qualities is River of Words looking for?

River of Words is looking for artwork and poetry that...

  • Thoughtfully considers ideas, images language. Is specific
  • Shows the reader something. Paints a picture (with paint or with words)!
  • Creates an experience for the reader/viewer: use images to take us on a journey or make us feel
  • Has fun: with form, with images, with textures. Surprise yourself
  • Features a specific aspect, formation, ecosystem, or organism of nature that resonates with you
  • Exhibits scientific knowledge of a particular subject learned in the classroom
  • Invites us into your backyard: go outside, what do you see?
  • Shows what no one what sees: a poem or artwork that reveals your own unique observations or personal experiences
  • Speaks to an awareness of a global community or collective consciousness: a poem or artwork can reflect the experiences of a culture or natural world surrounding you

Students may want to ask themselves, what do the ideas above mean to me? The answers will be different for everyone, though we hope to give you some idea of what we are looking for, we hope students will follow their creativity to its fullest extent to explore and try things they have not done before as they create poetry and art of environment and place. 

What do these qualities look like in action?

Take a look at the 2016-17 galleries of previous art and poetry selected for publication in the River of Words Anthology. We hope it inspires you and your students!