Talk by Benjamin Saenz – Wednesday April 9

The creative writing faculty are pleased to announce the appearance of Benjamin Saenz on our campus on Wednesday, April 9. Novelist, poet, and writer of children’s books, Saenz was named one of the “Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World” by Poets & Writers magazine.

His latest collection of short stories,
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club was accorded the prestigious 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, as well as a Lambda Literary Finalist for Gay Fiction. 

Born in Old Picacho, a small farming village outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-two miles north of the U.S. / Mexico border, Saenz He was the fourth of seven children and was brought up in a traditional Mexican-American Catholic family. He entered the seminary in 1972 at the University of Louvain and was ordained a Catholic priest. Three and a half years later, he left the priesthood.

At the age of 30, he entered the University of Texas at El Paso. He later received a fellowship at the University of Iowa. In 1988, he received a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship in poetry from Stanford University. In 1993, he returned to the border to teach in the bilingual MFA program at UTEP. 

His 2012 novel 
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon and Schuster) is an Honor Book for the Printz Award, and the winner of the Pura Belpré and the Stonewall Awards. 

He is the author of numerous novels, books for children and young adults. His young adult novel
Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood is used in many high school curricula and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, a Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and winner of the Américas Award. 

His bestselling bilingual children’s books include
A Gift from Papà, Grandma Fina and Her Wonderful Umbrellas and A Perfect Season for Dreaming. He also is the author of a several volumes of poetry, including Calendar of Dust, which won the American Book Award..
Mr. Saenz will be on hand at 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Library Room of the Green Center to meet with students and discuss writing and his work.
At 7:30, he will make a formal presentation of his work in the Performance Hall of the Jonsson Building. The reading is free and open to the public.
R. Clay Reynolds, Ph.D
Professor, Arts & Humanities
Director, Creative Writing
School of Arts & Humanities



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