Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Student Receives Artists 360 Award

Sophia Ordaz
Courtesy of Artists 360

Sophia Ordaz

Sophia Ordaz, a Chicana writer and master's student in the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program, is among several U of A community members to be awarded a grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance for the 2022 Artists 360 Awards.

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.

Grants include learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable careers, creating a network of leading regional artists.

Ordaz was named an Artists 360 Student Grant recipient, receiving a $1,500 grant to help fund her writing.

"Ever since humans have had the urge to create, the most transcendent art has cut through alienation, separateness and numbness by communicating truths that move us, make us feel more alive and coax us into coming into union with humanity," Ordaz told the Artists 360 Awards team.

Her journalistic work and poetry have appeared in such publications as The Idle Class, Arkansas Soul, Slant Magazine, Oyez Review and Evocations Review, and she was the June 2022 Open Mouth poetry resident.

Ordaz said for her, "the purpose of poetry is to articulate the ineffable mysteries of the human experience and to render our familiar mundanity strange and extraordinary. In my work, I aim to do both by scrutinizing the timeworn topics of love and affection under a microscope lens that disrupts expectations and convention."

When speaking about her artistic process and vision, Ordaz added that she often employs "figurative language and my own experience as a Latina woman in the South to open realms of reverence in my poetry that I hope can move even the most jaded of readers."

"In a world that is inching ever closer to climate catastrophe and is subsumed in acts of inhumanity, I offer every poem I write as a prayer to the value of human, animal and natural life and a protest against nihilism and cruelty," she added.

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