Award Winning Author Ben Sáenz to Open Cooper Lecture Series

The UALR Department of English will welcome Benjamin Alire Sáenz, author of The Book of What Remains and Carry Me Like Water, as part of the William G. Cooper, Jr., Honors Program Lecture Series on Thursday, Sept. 30. Sáenz will give two lectures, both of which are in conjunction with the Arkansas Mexico 2010 Celebration events series. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

The first lecture will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Donaghey Student Center, Room G. Sáenz will discuss his book, Last Night I Sang to the Monster, about Zach who is 18 and ends up in a residential therapeutic center instead of high school, for the UALR Adolescent Book Club.

His second lecture, “How Mexico Haunts My Imagination,” is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Donaghey Student Center, Room A.

Born in Old Pichacho, a small village outside Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sáenz is currently the chair of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he has taught for 20 years. His first book of poems Calendar of Dust won the prestigious American Book Award in 1992. Other books include The House of Forgetting, Dark and Perfect Angels, and A Perfect Season For Dreaming. Both Carry Me Like Water and Dark and Perfect Angels were awarded a Southwest Book Award by the Border Area Librarians Association. Sáenz, who has studied theology in Belgium at the University of Louvain, is an ordained Catholic priest.

“We are proud to host a New York Times best selling, award winning author and to provide an opportunity for our community to celebrate Mexican-American heritage,” said Trey Philpotts, chair of the UALR Department of English.

The Arkansas Mexico 2010 celebration is a partnership involving UALR, the Mexican Consulate, the cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock and the Clinton Foundation to coordinate a wide range of educational and cultural events in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Mexican Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

For more information about Sáenz’s lectures, contact Vicki Plant, Department of English, at (501) 569-3161.

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