The 2017 winners have been announced!  Click here for the full list.

Watch a short video that includes a brief interview with Marnie Lansdown and SETH, a Denver poet, at the Denver Water Kids Water Festival on May 17.

Watch our Rocky Mountain PBS PSA featuring 2014 winner, Solomon Valore-Caplan, 2016 River of Words poetry winners reading at the Student Literary Awards May 11, 2016, and see a medley of 2016 art winners.



Students (and their teachers) in grades K-12.


A poetry and art competition for students on the theme of watersheds and the environment designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express what they discover in poetry and visual art. Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book, in affiliation with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, implements River of Words statewide judging and coordinates the Student Literary Awards in the spring.                                                


Winners of River of Words are published in the annual Student Literary Awards Anthology and receive prizes from local businesses. River of Words winners are also published in the Colorado Foundation for Water Education publication, Headwaters.


Students throughout Colorado are encouraged to enter.

How Much

Free entry for students and free curriculum for teachers.


Deadline for the competition is December 1 each year. The winners of River of Words will be celebrated at the annual Student Literary Awards to be held at the Denver Public Library in Spring.


Start Here

Please click here to download contest information and entry forms.
River of Words Video

Teaching the Poetry of Rivers Curriculum (for teachers, parents & grandparents)

Purchase the Student Literary Awards Anthology


For more information contact Marnie Lansdown, 303.894.7951 x18, Fax 303.864.9361,