Sara Lupita Olivares Named Winner of CantoMundo Poetry Prize

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sara Lupita Olivares’ collection Migratory Sound has been named the winner of the annual CantoMundo Poetry Prize by guest judge Roberto Tejada. She will receive $1,000, and her book will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in the fall of 2020.

The collection turns both to nature and the generational narratives of immigration to illustrate how idyllic settings are at times posed against reminders of the imperfections that exist beyond these settings — the paper mills, dehorned cattle and featherless sparrows. These contrasts are used to redefine the idyllic for marginalized voices.

Olivares is a doctoral student at Western Michigan University. She is the author of the chapbook Field Things, and her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast Magazine, Salt Hill Journal, Denver Quarterly and Apogee.

Every year the University of Arkansas Press, together with CantoMundo, an American literary organization supporting Latinx 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 Latinx writer.

The series editors are Carolina Ebeid and Carmen Giménez Smith. Ebeid is the author of You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior. Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir and six poetry collections, including Be Recorder.

Roberto Tejada is the 2020 series guest judge. Tejada is the author of Full Foreground, Exposition Park, Mirrors for Gold, selected poems in Spanish translation, Todo en el ahora; and a cultural poetics of the Americas, Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness.

The CantoMundo Poetry Prize winner for 2019 was Gina Franco, for her collection The Accidental. In 2018, Ángel García won for his collection Teeth Never Sleep, a finalist for the 2019 PEN Open Book Award and a winner of the 2019 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. 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 advances the mission of the University of Arkansas by publishing peer-reviewed scholarship and literature of enduring value. The Press publishes books by authors of diverse backgrounds writing for specialty as well as general audiences in Arkansas and throughout the world.

About CantoMundo: CantoMundo is a national organization that cultivates a community of Latinx poets through workshops, symposia and public readings. Founded in 2009 by Norma E. Cantú, Celeste Mendoza, Pablo Miguel Martínez, Deborah Paredez and Carmen Tafolla, CantoMundo hosts an annual poetry workshop for Latinx poets that provides a space for the creation, documentation and critical analysis of Latinx poetry. 

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 fewer than 3% of colleges and 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.

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

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