April 2012, Volume 16, Number 2

Cultural Spotlight

Poetry Prize Celebrates Diversity

Octavio Paz
The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College is establishing the Paz Poetry Prize, named in honor of the Nobel-winning poet Octavio Paz.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College is establishing the Paz Prize for Poetry, named in honor of the Nobel-winning poet Octavio Paz.

“The Paz Prize for Poetry is a truly all-American prize in the hemispheric sense,” said bestselling author Julia Álvarez. She, Sandra Cisneros and eight other writing, arts and publishing professionals are on the advisory board. “Awarded to a poet who is a resident of the United States but writing in Spanish, it’s the only award of its kind. This is Pan-Americanism for the best cause: poetry!”

The winning poet’s work will be translated and published by the high-profile independent publisher Akashic Books. Judging the entries this year is esteemed Puerto Rican poet Víctor Hernández Cruz. The Center’s partner in this endeavor is the 24-year-old National Poetry Series, an organization that promotes excellence in contemporary poetry by ensuring the publication of five books of poetry a year. The 2012 submission period for The Paz Prize for Poetry will be May 1 to June 15. Complete guidelines are available at www.TheCenteratMDC.org.

“I believe this is going to be an incredibly important prize,” said Daniel Halpern, director of The National Poetry Series. “It’s an honor to be working with The Center for Literature and Theatre at MDC.”

Center Executive Director Alina Interián adds, “We are very pleased to cement our commitment to literature by launching this prize on our 10th anniversary.”

— Staff Report

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