Congratulations to Lee Bennett Hopkins, the recipient of the Regina Medal Award for 2016. Lee Bennett Hopkins is known throughout our field as a poet and poetry anthologist, whose numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials, have played an instrumental role in keeping poetry for children alive and thriving. In 2009 he was awarded the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognizing his aggregate body of work, which includes Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life, an autobiographical book of poetry that received the prestigious Christopher Medal and a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Golden Kite Honor Award, Alphathoughts: Alphabet Poems, City I Love, and his award-winning series of American History through poetry. He also co-created the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award with SCBWI recognizing and encouraging the publication of an excellent book of poetry or anthology for children and/or young adults. “Lee’s career is an example of what we all strive for in life,” commented Lin Oliver, SCBWI Executive Director. “Passion, excellence, dedication, talent and heart. He is a treasure in our field, and in the SCBWI community.”
Established in 1959 and sponsored by the Catholic Library Association, The Regina Award is administered by the Children’s Library Services Section. The only criterion for the award is that of excellence. "The Regina Medal is awarded annually to a living exemplar of the words of the English poet, Walter de la Mare 'only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young,' for continued, distinguished contribution to children’s literature without regard to the nature of the contribution." (www.cathla.org) Past winners include many of the great creators of children’s literature, including SCBWI Board members Judy Blume and Jerry Pinkney. To Learn more about Lee, visit www.leebennetthopkins.com.