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BEAUTIFUL WALL wins 2016 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry

Beautiful Wall (BOA Editions, 2015) by Ray Gonzalez is the 2016 Minnesota Book Award winner for Poetry. Announced at the Minnesota Book Awards gala on April 16, 2016, this marks Gonzalez’s third time winning the prestigious award.

A total of 252 books were nominated for Minnesota Book Awards this year, and 32 books were chosen as finalists by a panel of judges across the state.

Beautiful Wall takes readers on a profound journey through the desert Southwest where the ever-changing natural landscape and an aggressive border culture rewrite intolerance and ethnocentric thought into human history. Inextricably linked to his Mexican ancestry and American upbringing, Ray Gonzalez’s collection mounts the wall between the current realities of violence and politics, and a beautiful, never-to-be-forgotten past.

According to the Star Tribune, “Gonzalez’s dense, surrealism-inflected poetry does seem obsessed with mud. But each time the image appears, it transforms. Mud becomes angels, walls and clay — metaphors for the survival of Mexican culture under colonialism. This culture transgresses “the violent border” between the United States and Mexico. . . . With long sentences and repeated phrases, his poems have an incantatory rhythm that takes the reader on visionary journeys through a landscape saturated with history and myth.”

Click here for the full list of 2016 MNBA winners.

Click here for the Star Tribune's review of Beautiful Wall.

Congratulations to Ray on this much-deserved honor!


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