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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo wins 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize

We are pleased to announce that Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the winner of the 16th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize for his collection Cenzontle. Castillo will receive a $1,500 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions in spring 2018. Contest judge and esteemed poet Brenda Shaughnessy selected Cenzontle from a pool of more than 300 submissions. The runner-up, also selected by Shaughnessy, is Fieldglass by Catherine Pond.

Of the winning collection, Shaughnessy says, “Marcelo Hernandez Castillo can distill great complex states of being into clear, piercing lines of breathtaking beauty. In this artist’s hands, a straightforward truth or observation blossoms into wild, windblown wonder—the kind of wonder that keeps us fully human, full of hope in all the pain. A magnificent soul-magic talent arrives with this debut.”

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of five through the mountains of Tijuana. He is a CantoMundo Fellow and earned degrees from Sacramento State University and The University of Michigan, where he was the first undocumented student to graduate from the MFA program in Creative Writing. He has received fellowships to attend the Vermont Studio Center, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He cofounded the Undocupoets campaign, which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country, and he was recognized with the Barnes & Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets & Writers. His work has been adapted to opera through collaboration with the composer Reinaldo Moya. With the late C.D. Wright, he co-translated the poems of the contemporary Mexican poet Marcelo Uribe. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in PBS NewsHour, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, Fusion TV, and BuzzFeed, among others. He lives in California where he teaches at Sacramento State University.

BOA Editions will accept manuscripts for the 17th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize between August 1 and November 30, 2017. Click here for complete guidelines and eligibility requirements. 

Congratulations, Marcelo, and welcome to the BOA family!

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