In the tradition of women as the unsung keepers of history, Year of the Dog tells the story of a Latina daughter of the Vietnam War. The title refers to the year 1970—the Year of the Metal Dog in the lunar calendar—which was the year of the author’s birth, the year her father prepared to deploy to Vietnam along with many other Mexican-American immigrant soldiers, and a year of tremendous upheaval across the United States. Images from iconic photographs and her father’s snapshots are incorporated, fragmented, scrutinized, and reconstructed throughout the collection as Deborah Paredez recalls untold stories from a war that changed her family and the nation. Year of the Dog is a Blessing the Boats Selection and was a New York Times New & Notable Poetry Book.
Deborah Paredez is a poet, performance scholar, and cultural critic whose writing explores the workings of memory, the legacies of war, and feminist elegy. She is the author of the poetry collections Year of the Dog (BOA Editions, 2020), This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002), and of the critical study Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009). Her poetry and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, Poetry, Poet Lore, and the anthology, Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (Norton 2018). She is a co-founder of CantoMundo, a national organization that cultivates a community of Latinx poets, which she also served as a co-director from 2009–2019. Born and raised in San Antonio, She lives in New York City where she is a professor of creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University.
The WLT Book Awards recognize outstanding books published in 2020 written by Texas authors (both current and former residents). The Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards were established in 1991 as the Violet Crown Awards (later renamed in 2008) to recognize the year’s best among those stories and to celebrate the exceptional writers behind them. Winners receive a $1000 prize and a commemorative award. The Tiny Journalist (BOA, 2019) previously won the WLT Book Award for Poetry in 2020.
The Writers’ League of Texas will honor WLT Book Award honorees, past and present, at the annual WLT Agents & Editors Conference in September. Visit The Writers’ League of Texas's website for more information about this year's winners.