Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a distinguished Mexican American fiction writer, poet, and author of children’s books who teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso. His first
collection of poetry, Calendar of Dust, was honored with an American Book Award in 1991, and his most recent book of poems, The Book of What Remains, was published this year. Sáenz will give his talk on Thursday, September 30, at 7 pm, in Donaghey Student Center, Meeting Room A.
His first book of fiction was a collection of short stories, Flowers for the Broken, which came out in 1992. His critically acclaimed first novel, Carry Me Like Water, was published in 1995 and was also awarded a Southwest Book Award and a Latino Literary Award for Best Novel. His second novel, The House of Forgetting, was published two years later and has been translated into German and French.
Sáenz has also published four bilingual children’s books including Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the Americas Book Award, The Paterson Prize, and the JHunt Award for 2005. Sammy and Juliana was also named one of the top ten Young Adult novels by the American Library Association and was also named one of the top books of the year by the Center for Children’s Books, The New York Public Library, and the Miami Herald. He has published several award-winning young adult novels since then. Saenz’s talk is sponsored by the Cooper Program and also by Hola! Arkansas and Leo Monterrey as part of the Arkansas Mexico 2010 celebrations.