Gina Franco Named Winner of CantoMundo Poetry Prize

Gina Franco
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Gina Franco

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Gina Franco has been named the winner of the annual CantoMundo Poetry Prize. She will receive $1,000 and will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in the fall of 2019.

Her collection, set in the border landscapes of the American southwest, reflects on the strangeness of accident and its role in creating the lives we are born into.

Franco teaches at Knox College and is the author of the poetry collection The Keepsake Storm.

Every year the University of Arkansas Press together with CantoMundo, an American literary organization supporting Latina/o poets and poetry, accepts submissions for the CantoMundo Poetry Series and awards the $1,000 CantoMundo Poetry Prize to a book of poetry, written in English by a Latina/o writer.

The series editors are Deborah Paredez and Celeste Gúzman Mendoza, co-founders and co-directors of CantoMundo. Paredez is the author of the poetry collection This Side of Skin and the critical study Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. Mendoza is the author of the poetry collection Beneath the Halo.

Emmy Pérez is 2019 series guest judge. Pérez is the author of With the River on Our Face and Solstice. She’s a recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship and was in the inaugural cohort of CantoMundo fellows, 2010 to 2012.

Since its founding in 2009, CantoMundo has cultivated and supported a community of Latina/o poets and the poetry they create.

“CantoMundo is thrilled to continue collaborating with the University of Arkansas Press to provide an opportunity to showcase the work of contemporary U.S.-based Latina/o poets,” said Paredez. “Now, more than ever, it is important to provide platforms for these voices to be heard. The CantoMundo Poetry Series is proud to recognize and promote Latina/o poetry, with its various linguistic, aesthetic, stylistic and cultural traditions.”

The CantoMundo Poetry Prize winner for 2018 was Ángel García for his collection Teeth Never Sleep, published in October 2018. The winner for 2017 was Jacob Shores-Argüello for his collection Paraíso, which the Oxford American called a “masterful reopening of that ancient mythos of paradise lost and regained, just in time for the 21st century.”

About the University of Arkansas Press: The University of Arkansas Press was founded in 1980 as the book publishing division of the University of Arkansas. A member of the Association of American University Presses, it has as its central and continuing mission the publication of books that serve both the broader academic community and Arkansas and the region.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

Melissa King, director of sales and marketing
University of Arkansas Press
479-575-7715, mak001@uark.edu

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