Arts and Entertainment

Andrea Davis Pinkney to receive Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award July 13

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Andrea Davis Pinkney, 2019 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, will receive the national children’s poetry honor at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, in the Downsbrough Community Room at Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen Street, State College, Pennsylvania. Following the presentation, Pinkney will speak about her writing and read from her book “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King.”

The award presentation takes place during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, an annual arts and music celebration that winds throughout downtown State College and Penn State’s University Park campus, and BookFest, a celebration of the book for readers of all ages, sponsored by Schlow Library. Brian Pinkney, the book's illustrator, will also be in attendance, as part of the Bookfest event.

Pinkney, a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and nonfiction, will be presented with a commemorative plaque and $1,000 prize during the 90-minute event, in celebration of “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King,” a collection of 39 poems that convey the final months of Martin Luther King’s life.

In “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King,” Pinkney has written, “quite simply, a poetic tour de force, perfectly complemented by Brian Pinkney’s ethereal, swirling watercolor illustrations,” the jury for the Lee Bennett Hopkins award wrote, adding, “Though there are volumes written about Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Martin Rising: Requiem for a King’ offers a fresh voice that features not only his accomplishments, but also reveals his humanity. Each poem could stand alone but when read as a collection the significance and power of this volume is stunning. The marriage of the language and the art results in something that is both elegant and eloquent.”

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, 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. Established in 1993, the winner of the award is selected each year by a panel of authors, librarians, teachers and scholars.

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 or 814-863-5472, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website

Last Updated September 11, 2019