2013 Hopkins Poetry Award Winner Announced

Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.

This year’s winner is “Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems,” written by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So, and published by Chronicle Books. The award and a $1000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, will be presented on September 28, 2013 at Penn State.

Says one judge, “All poetry is musical, but this collection really SINGS–and bellows and hums and warbles and more. Sea shanties, operas, jingles, hymns; a haiku aria here, a fishy rap there. Another great read (or sing) aloud.” Another offers this praise, “I find the variety of emotions portrayed throughout the poems and amazing illustrations very appealing and appropriate. The interdependency of the sea is wonderfully depicted in the verse.” And from another, “Push away from the shore with the first poem in this collection and return with the tides at the end. A dazzling collection of poems.”

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 Sue C. Kimmel (assistant professor, school libraries, Old Dominion University) of Norfolk, Virginia; Joyce D. Dietrich (elementary librarian, Greencastle-Antrim School District) of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Marianne Follis (librarian, Irving Public Library System, Valley Ranch location) of Grapevine, Texas; Mike Skarp (5th grade teacher, Eden Prairie, MN Schools) of St. Louis Park, Minnesota; and Lee Wardlaw (children’s book author) of Santa Barbara, California.

For more information about the Hopkins Award, contact Karla Schmit at 814.863.5521 or visit the web site at www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu/activities/hopkins/index.html.