Arts and Entertainment

Bestselling author Grimes to receive Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award July 12

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nikki Grimes, 2018 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, will receive the national children’s poetry honor at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, in the Downsbrough Community Room at Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen Street, State College. Following the presentation, Grimes will speak about her writing and read from her award-winning book “One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance.” The event also includes a book sale and author signing.

The award presentation takes place during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, an annual arts and music festival that winds throughout downtown and Penn State’s campus.

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, she has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. She connects the struggles of the past with current challenges in the world today, offering inspiration and hope to all readers.      

New York Times bestselling author and prolific artist Grimes has won numerous awards for her writing, including the 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the 2018 Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for Middle Readers and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry For Children.

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. The winning poet or anthologist receives a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 honorarium, courtesy of Hopkins.

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

Additional sponsors for this event are Penn State University Libraries, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Schlow Centre Region Library and Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. For more information about the Hopkins Award or questions about accommodations at the July 12 award presentation, contact Caroline Wermuth at 814-863-5472,, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Lee Bennett Hopkins Award website.

Last Updated June 22, 2018