Lois Lowry to receive Lee Bennett Hopkins Prize for Poetry on October 20
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– Lois Lowry, two-time Newbery medalist and acclaimed children’s author, will receive the 2021 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Prize at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20. In the virtual presentation via Zoom, Lowry will talk about her as he writes and reads her winning selection, “On the Horizon: Reflections on WWII”.
Co-sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the online event will be hosted by Jury Chair Cindy Dobrez, who will introduce the jury and discuss the winner selection process and honor books for 2021 before presenting Lowry. The public is invited to attend the event at this Zoom link.
New York Times bestselling children’s author of “The Giver” will be presented with a commemorative plaque and $ 1,000 prize at the event, in honor of her book “On the Horizon,” illustrated by Kenard Pak and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for young readers.
“This verse novel is both a historical memoir and a poetic fiction, recounting tales of World War II from both sides of the horizon,” wrote one juror. “In subtle and beautiful poems that explore the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Lowry builds a house of empathy and understanding in which we could all live, even in the midst of so many problems. Lowry’s delicate investigation of memory and history and the horrors of human self-destruction convey two sides of a complicated problem. Ultimately, this gem of a book transports us to the realities of war, violence, and the massive destruction it brings. “
In addition, two books were awarded: “Ice! Poems about Polar Life ”, written and illustrated by Douglas Florian, published by Holiday House, and“ Punching the Air ”by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, published by Balzer + Bray HarperCollins.
The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named in honor of the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of youth poetry. Established in 1993, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first such award 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 was established in 1993. The award winner is selected annually by a panel of authors, librarians, teachers and academics. .
The 2021 judges for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award were Cindy Dobrez, president, co-author of Bookends blog, Grand Haven, Michigan; Tony Medina, professor of creative writing at Howard University, Hyattsville, Maryland; Marilyn Nelson, poet, translator and author of children’s books, East Haven, Connecticut; Karen O’Connell, coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book, Little Rock, Arkansas; and Suzanne Walker, librarian at the Indiana Young Readers Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, a subsidiary of the Center du livre created in 1977 at the Library of Congress, encourages the citizens and residents of Pennsylvania to study, honor, celebrate, and promote books, reading, libraries, and literacy. In addition to Lee Bennett Hopkins Prize for Poetry, he also administers the Public poetry project, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Award, Poems of life, Letters on Literature, A dozen bakers: the best children’s books for family literacy, and the interactive Pennsylvania Literary and Cultural Heritage Map.