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Press Releases - Lee Bennett Hopkins Award

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS PRESS RELEASE

Grimes' 'One Last Word' named 2018 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner

February 21, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book have announced the 2018 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year. This year’s winner is “One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance,” written by Nikki Grimes and published in 2017 by Bloomsbury.

In “One Last Word,” Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. The book features art by Grimes and Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, E.B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon.

Grimes will accept the award and the $1,000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, on July 12, near Penn State’s University Park campus.

“One hundred years from now readers will be enjoying “‘One Last Word,’” the judges wrote. “Grimes’ work showcases not only a lesser-known poetic form (the Golden Shovel) but the poets of the Harlem Renaissance and the work of African-American artists.”

“Grimes not only celebrates the poets and poems of a time gone by, but builds on those works, transforming them into new and powerful poems that will resonate with a new and powerful generation of young people,” the judges also wrote. “‘One Last Word’ connects the struggles and challenges in our world today with the struggles and challenges of the past. ‘The past,’ as Grimes writes in the final poem of the book, ‘is a ladder that can help you keep climbing.’ Young people will return to this book again and again for inspiration, consolation, and, above all, hope.”

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Established in 1993, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries, and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award, which is selected by a panel of authors, librarians, teachers and scholars. 

The 2018 judges for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award were Libby Snyder, Chair, teacher-librarian, State College, Pennsylvania; Barbara Chatton, professor, Laramie, Wyoming; Irene Latham, poet, Birmingham, Alabama; Ed Spicer, Allegan, Michigan; and Jorge Argueta, poet and winner of the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Award, San Salvador, El Salvador/San Francisco, California.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book established in 1977 at the Library of Congress, encourages Pennsylvania’s citizens and residents to study, honor, celebrate and promote books, reading, libraries and literacy. In addition to the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, it also administers the Public Poetry Project, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel PrizePoems from LifeLetters about LiteratureA Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy; and the interactive Literary & Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Hopkins Award, contact Caroline Wermuth at cvw1@psu.edu or 814-863-5472, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website.

2017 Hopkins Poetry Award Winners Announced

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are pleased to announce the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year. This year’s winner is “Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds” written by Jorge Argueta, published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press.

Jorge Argueta will accept the award and the $1,000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, at Penn State this fall.

About “Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds” one judge said, “In few words and brief poems, Argueta is able to capture the safety of home and the mundane with the pain of not knowing what awaits on the other side. A refugee’s journey is a difficult topic to present in poetry, but Argueta’s words are able to balance the struggles, happiness, uncertainty, sadness, fears, and the mixture of feelings that the child narrator experiences.”

Another said, “In ‘Somos como las nubes /We are Like the Clouds,’ the reader is pulled into the story visually from the beautiful illustrations, and rhythmically, from the poetic language. The bilingual aspect adds authenticity to the story and connectivity for more children.”

Additionally, judges gave an honor award to “Garvey’s Choice” by Nikki Grimes published by WordSong, an imprint of Highlights.

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Established in 1993, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award, which is selected by a panel of authors, librarians, teachers and scholars. 

The 2017 judges for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award were Ernie Cox, Chair, teacher-librarian, Prairie Creek Intermediate School, Iowa City, Iowa; Emily Aguiló-Pérez, lecturer, English, Penn State, State College, Pa.; Katie Sue Buchholtz, children’s librarian, Bellevue Branch of the Nashville Public Library System, Nashville, Tenn.; Carolyn L. Cook, associate professor, Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, Md.), Shippensburg, Pa.; Margarita Engle, author and winner of the 2016 Hopkins Poetry Award for Children, Clovis, Calif.

For more information about the Hopkins Award, contact Caroline Wermuth at 814-863-5472; cvw1@psu.edu, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s award website.

 

2016 Hopkins Poetry Award Winners Announced

For Immediate Release February 24, 2016

2016 Hopkins Poetry Award winner announced 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. This year’s winner is “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir” written by Margarita Engle, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

The award and a $1,000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, will be presented at Penn State in the fall.

One judge noted, “Margarita Engle has perfectly crafted a story that is both deeply personal and universal. The strong emotions that she is able to convey with so few words are truly astonishing.” Another said, “In ‘Enchanted Air,’ readers will find verses of rich poetry nestled within a moving and unforgettable memoir.” A third judge remarked, “Engle’s memoir in verse reminds us that verse can be as brief as the breath we draw in and exhale, that enchanted air is the small place between the poet and the reader.”

Additionally, judges gave honor awards to “Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything” by Calef Brown, published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt BYR (an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group), and “My Seneca Village” by Marilyn Nelson, published by namelos.

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Established in 1993, the award is presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year.

Selected by a panel of authors, librarians, teachers and scholars, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award.

The judges for this year’s Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award are:

  • Christopher Lassen, chair; youth material selector, BookOps, New York Public Library/Brooklyn Public Library (New York, N.Y.);
  • Cynthia Alaniz, school librarian, Cottonwood Creek Elementary (Coppell, Texas);
  • Kwame Alexander, author, poet and educator (Potomac Falls, Va.);
  • Paul W. Hankins, ELA teacher, Silver Creek High School (Floyds Knobs, Ind.); and
  • Pamela Michael, director, Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary's College of California, co-founder of River of Words (Clayton, Calif.).

 

2015 Hopkins Poetry Award Winners Announced

For Immediate Release March 1, 2015

2015 Hopkins Poetry Award winner announced 

University Park, PA— Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. This year’s winner is “The Crossover” written by Kwame Alexander, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books. The award and a $1000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, will be presented at Penn State in the fall.

One judge remarks, “‘The Crossover’ is light on its feet—fast, smart and gripping.”  Another comments, “The fast-paced, hip hop story is a fresh example of poetry that evokes action and emotion in a way traditional writing could not.” And from another, “Kwame Alexander’s writing set a perfect pace to tell the complicated relationship of twin boys who share a love for basketball along with their devoted yet stubborn father. He has given us a book that even the most reluctant reader can't resist. We learn some things about basketball, but a lot more about life.

Additionally, judges gave an honor award to “Firefly July,” poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, and published by Candlewick Press.

Established in 1993, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year.

This prestigious award is named for Lee Bennett Hopkins, the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Selected by a panel of teachers, librarians and scholars, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award.

The judges for this year’s Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award are Chair, Dr. Tim Wadham of Puyallup, WA; Kathy Barco (Library Consultant, Retired Children's Librarian/Early Literacy Coordinator) of Albuquerque, NM; Andrea Cheng (Children's Book Author) of Cincinnati, OH; Cindy Judd (Associate University Librarian, Learning Resources Center, Eastern Kentucky University) of Berea, KY; and Heather Roney (Owner of Sweets N' Stories Bookstore) of Oakes, ND.

For more information about the Hopkins Award, contact Caroline Wermuth at 814.863.5472; cvw1@psu.edu, or visit the web site.