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Cenzontle wins NCIBA Golden Poppy Book Award for Poetry

Rochester, N.Y. — BOA Editions is proud to announce that Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo has won the 2018 Golden Poppy Book Award for Poetry. The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) announced the winners of the 2018 Golden Poppy Awards at an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 24, 2019.

The NCIBA members praised Castillo’s poems in Cenzontle as “Unexpectedly deep for poems that on the surface look spacious and airy.”

Cenzontle is Castillo’s debut poetry collection. The collection presents a nuanced narrative of life before, during, and after crossing the US/Mexico border through poems that explore the emotional fallout of immigration, the anxieties of living in a queer brown undocumented body within a heteronormative marriage, and the ongoing search for belonging. Cenzontle is the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and the 2019 GLCA New Writers Award in Poetry.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States at age five. A CantoMundo Fellow, he is the first undocumented student to graduate from the University of Michigan’s Creative Writing MFA program. He cofounded Undocupoets, for which he was awarded the 2016 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in PBS NewsHour, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, and BuzzFeed, among others. He lives in Marysville, California, with his wife and son. For more information about Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, visit

The members of the NCIBA present The Golden Poppy Book Awards to recognize the most distinguished books published by Northern California writers and artists during each calendar year. Awards are presented for the following categories: adult fiction; non-fiction; cooking & food writing; mystery; poetry; teen; middle grade; and children’s picture book; and regional interest. For more information on the NCBIA and The Golden Poppy Book Awards, visit

Congratulations, Marcelo!

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