Pennsylvania Center for the Book


The Pennsylvania Center for the Book and the University Librarie are pleased to announce the winner of the 2014 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and two honor award winners.

2014 Winner:

2014 Honorees:

Lee Bennett Hopkins Award Criteria


History of the Award

Past Winners

2014 Press Release (html)

2014 Press Release (PDF)

Lee Bennett Hopkins Website

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox

This year's winner is Andrea Cheng for Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet (Lee & Low Books )

The award and a $1000 prize, courtesy of Lee Bennett Hopkins, will be presented at Penn State University in the fall.

clay cover

Judges' Comments:

One judge remarks, “‘Etched in Clay’ is an accomplished biography-in-verse that forever etches in our minds the life of a man who dared to leave his mark.”

Another comments, “In direct, forthright verse from multiple perspectives, embellished with her own simple woodblock prints, Andrea Cheng crafts a careful, human portrait of a man of extraordinary resilience and strength, himself a poet and an artist.”

And from another, “Even the careful juxtaposition of the poems creates a path of life and heart that makes this novel in verse a hand-thrown treasure.”



Additionally, judges gave honor awards to:

Ron Koertge for Coaltown Jesus (Candlewick)

coaltown cover

Judges' Comments:

"How do we deal with grief and the many unanswered questions surrounding the death of a loved one? In spare free verse, Ron Koertge tackles this subject in Coaltown Jesus. Walker's brother has died, and Jesus himself appears to help guide Walker through the ensuing difficult days. Koertge's poetic work is humorous, realistic, and graced with a divinely human Jesus, whose friendship helps Walker navigate his feelings of grief."

Marilyn Singer for Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents, illustrated by John Hendrix (Disney-Hyperion)

rutherford cover

Judges' Comments:

"Marilyn Singer together with illustrator John Hendrix have created a lyrical and informative tour de force about the presidency. Readers will discover presidential facts while being charmed with poetical words and phrases."




Penn State Libraries Center for the Book - Library of Congress