The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library will host the annual River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Exhibit on July 17 to 27. These are the winning entries for the state of Georgia, from over 1060 entries received from students in grades kindergarten - 12th grade.
The exhibit will be set up close to the reference section on the first floor of the library. After Conyers, the exhibit will travel to the main library in Lawrenceville.
The exhibit features the winners of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch Outreach annual River of Words program’s environmental art and poetry contest. This year the national organization selected two Georgia students out of four finalists as Grand Prize Winners in art and nine others as National Finalists. In addition, 56 Georgia students were selected as state winners. In total over 1060 entries were received representing students from all over Georgia.
The tradition of selecting one student to receive the Dragonfly Award as a special tribute to the late Petey Giroux has also been continued. Petey was the first River of Words state coordinator in the nation and brought this wonderful program to Georgia in 1997.
River of Words was founded by U.S Poet Laureate, Robert Hass (1995-97) and writer Pamela Michael, who felt it necessary to connect students to their watershed and imaginations through art and poetry. It is designed to nurture respect and understanding of the natural world. Students in grades kindergarten through 12 are first encouraged to do a watershed study and learn their “ecological address.” They hone their observational skills and learn language and systems associated with the area they are studying. Next, the students express their own place in this space through poetry and art and compete in an annual contest under the theme of watersheds.
For the State River of Words Awards, entries returned from the National contest were judged by volunteers in the GA EPD Watershed Protection Branch and from the Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur. All of the winning students and their teachers will be honored in a ceremony held in May.
The winning entries will be reproduced in a printed journal and displayed in 2 traveling exhibits. One exhibit is managed by the Georgia Center for the Book and sent to libraries throughout the state. The second exhibit is available for free checkout to educators, festivals, conferences, nature centers, and other interested parties.
For contacts and more information about the Georgia River of Words program visit GAProjectWET.org. Winning work since 2000 is archived in galleries on this site.