Monday, August 08, 2005

New Mexico and Literary Awards

Premio Aztlán

Patricia and Rudolfo Anaya
The Premio Aztlán Literary Prize is a national literary award, established to encourage and reward
emerging Chicana and Chicano authors. Renowned author, Rudolfo Anaya and his wife, Patricia,
founded Premio Aztlan in 1993, and the prize was reestablished in their honor in 2004 by the
University of New Mexico Libraries.

A prize of $1,000 will be given to a Chicana or Chicano writer for a work of fiction published in the 2005 calendar year. Authors who have published no more than two books are eligible for the prize.

Recipients are required to be present at the award ceremony and give a public lecture at the University of New Mexico in April 2006. Five copies of the book must be submitted by December 31, 2005. For more detail, go to the premio website.

Critica Nueva Award

Yet another award established by Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya. This one recognizes the foremost scholars in Chicano literary theory and criticism. The award, which carries a monetary stipend, is administered by the University of New Mexico libraries.

The following is taken from Campus News and Events (June 6, 2005) on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville site:

Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, language and literature lecturer at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has been selected to receive the 2005 Critica Nueva Award. He was chosen to receive the award for his influential contributions to Chicano literature and critical theory.

In addition to teaching English at A&M-Kingsville, Ortego is professor emeritus of English at Texas State University System-Sul Ross State. He teaches an upper division course in Chicano Literature at A&M Kingsville.

Ortego was the first Mexican American to earn a doctorate in English from the University of New Mexico. While he was a teaching fellow completing his dissertation, he taught the first course in Mexican American literature. In 1971, he completed his dissertation on Backgrounds in Mexican American Literature, the first study in the field, and has since earned a reputation as founder of Chicano literary history.

He retired in 1999 after 35 years in academia, but at 79, still maintains an interest in Chicano literature. Ortego recently completed an entry on “Chicano Poetry” for the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry. His piece on “Mexicans and Mexican Americans: Prolegomenon to Literary Perspective,” appears in the spring 2005 issue of The Journal of South Texas.

His paper on “Hispanic Heritage Month” appears in the 2005 Oxford Encyclopedia on Latinos and Latinas in the United States and he is working on “Origins and Development of Tejano Literature” for a Texas anthology.

American Book Award/Before Columbus Foundation

The following is from the New Mexico Business Weekly (July 21, 2005):

Albuquerque-area author Ralph Flores has won an award from an organization that focuses attention on multicultural diversity in American writing.

Flores' The Horse in the Kitchen: Stories of a Mexican-American Family was picked as one of the winners of the 2005 American Book Award by the Oakland, Calif.-based Before Columbus Foundation, according to a release from the University of New Mexico Press, which published the book.

Flores lives in Tomé, located south of Albuquerque. He teaches at Albuquerque's Technical Vocational Institute.

The American Book Awards, in its 26th year, honors outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors.

The Horse in the Kitchen chronicles the life of Rafael and his family in the village of San Cristóbal in northern Sonora, Mexico, UNM Press says. "His father, the village comisario, owns a bar, a pool hall, and a grocery store. Rafael's interaction with the vaqueros and engagement in local customs provide adventures and life lessons, and some of the boy's earliest memories include the commandeering of horses for Pancho Villa's army," the release says. "When Rafael's family loses their life savings in the revolution, they immigrate to Arizona, where life north of the border is a challenge."

The Horse in the Kitchen book was a finalist for the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize for excellence in Chicano literature and was named a Southwest Book of the Year by the Tucson-Pima Public Library.