Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book announced the winner of the 2011 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. This year's winner is "The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane" by C.M. Millen, illustrated by Andrea Wisnewski, and published by Charlesbridge. The award and a $1,000 prize will be presented on April 29, at the Pennsylvania School Librarians' Association Conference in Hershey, Pa.
One judge commented, "On my very first reading the sound and rhythm of C.M. Millen's wonderful narrative verse took me by the hand and led me right into the happy world of Brother Theophane. I've returned many times since and always close the book with a smile and a sigh. What a lovely, satisfying story, told with grace and gentle humor." Another said, "Listening to "The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane" gives children the chance to mull over matters spiritual in the context of a poem that keeps them smiling. Millen's deft rhyme combines with reflective illustrations inviting us to linger in Theophane's world, savoring his story as he savors his task." And yet another observed, "Lovely as a read-aloud, Millen's narrative poem celebrates the inspiring and sometimes humorous journey of Brother Theophane, an individual willing to engage aesthetically with the beauty of the natural world."
Additionally, judges gave an honor award to Joyce Sidman for "Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night," illustrated by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
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 University Libraries and Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award. he Pennsylvania School Librarians' Association was added as a co-sponsor in 2006.
The judges for this year's Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award are chair, Catherine Posey (instructor of children's literature, Penn State) of Bellefonte, Pa; Beth Enochs (librarian, Fort Worth Independent School District) of Fort Worth, Texas; Alice Schertle (poet and children's author) of Plainfield, Mass.; Eloise M. Long (associate professor and department chair, Kutztown University Department of Library Science) of Topton, Pa; and Rob Arneson (elementary teacher) of Fargo, N.D.
For more information about the Hopkins Award, contact Karla Schmit at 814-863-5521 or visit the website at www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu/activities/hopkins/index.html