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The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College Announces The Paz Prize for Poetry 2014 Contest


Miami, January 31, 2014 - Calling all Poets! The Center for Literature & Theatre @ Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with The National Poetry Series, has announced the return of The Paz Prize for Poetry. The submission period for this year’s contest is May 1 – June 15.

Named in honor of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz, the award recognizes a previously unpublished poetry book written in Spanish by a poet residing in the U.S. The winning book will be published in a bilingual edition by Akashic Books, and its author will receive a $2,000 cash prize. Renowned Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco will serve as a judge.

“The stories of America’s diverse cultural landscape don’t come in just one language or one color. The Paz Prize recognizes this, and as such, I’m honored to serve as judge,” said Blanco.  “This important award bridges understanding through the power of poetry, and honors the value of Spanish-speaking cultures contributing their stories through the arts to the story of the United States.”

 “We are very pleased to once again partner with The National Poetry Series to sponsor The Paz Prize for Poetry,” said Alina Interian, executive director of MDCulture, the college's cultural affairs department. “In our increasingly diverse nation, poetry in translation is not just desired but necessary. It allows for shared experience across cultures and great understanding, and even more beauty in the world.” 

The Paz Prize for Poetry was started in 2012 to commemorate The Center’s 10th anniversary and its renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts. The first winning title, Colaterales/Collateral by Dinapiera Di Donato, was recently released by Akashic Books to great acclaim.  “It's a remarkable collection of poems,” wrote Daniel Halpern, director and founder of The National Poetry Series.  “Unlike anything being written…always entrancing and seductive, line by line, poem after poem.” 

Members of the advisory board for the prize include Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Mitchell Kaplan, Campbell McGrath, Pablo Medina, Gary Soto, Ilan Stavans, and Luisa Valenzuela.

 “We are looking forward to the next round of the contest,” said Lissette Mendez, director of programs for The Center. “The discovery of new American voices is especially thrilling.”

For complete contest guidelines, please visit, or

The National Poetry Series was established in 1978 by Daniel Halpern and James Michener to ensure the publication of five collections of poetry annually through participating publishers. More than 175 books have been awarded since the Series' inception.

About The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College

The Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College promotes reading, writing and theatre throughout South Florida. Its Generation Genius programs for children and teens promote literacy and learning. Its creative writing program has national appeal, with courses taught by local and visiting authors. The Center is home to Prometeo Theatre, the nation's leading Spanish language, conservatory-style program offering training for actors, and featuring performances year round. In 2012, the Center celebrated its tenth year with a renewed commitment to the advancement of literary and theater arts. The Center collaborates with a number of cultural institutions and other partners in South Florida, and throughout the state, to create innovative or theme-based initiatives year-round.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
The Center @ MDC media contact: Maria Lanao, Levy Communications, 305-764-3370 ext. 206,

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