A book of poetry by Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez, a UT Arlington
associate professor of Spanish, has claimed a highly coveted international
llenas de incógnitas,” or “Manuscript Notes Full of Questions,” won the Ninth Annual Luis
Cardoza y Aragón Poetry Prize, an award sponsored by the Mexican Embassy in
Guatemala, the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and Fondo de Cultura Económica, a major Mexican publishing house.
“This prize celebrates one of the most important writers in
Spanish-language literature, so it’s an immense honor to receive it,” said
Ruiz-Pérez, who joined the UT Arlington Department of Modern Languages in 2005.
“This very unexpected honor also reinforces my commitment to literature.”
Beth Wright, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal
Arts, said the honor is well deserved and illustrates the international
recognition University faculty have garnered in the arts and humanities.
“Dr. Ruiz-Pérez’s many international prizes for his poetry
demonstrate the significance of his creative contribution to his field of
scholarship, in which he is internationally respected.” Wright said. “We are
fortunate to call him one of our own, and his insights into Mexican and Spanish
literature help us to better understand the complexities of different cultures.”
The contest is open to poets from Mexico and all of Central
America. Work is submitted anonymously, and a jury selects a winner. The
winning work is published through Editorial Cultura, a Guatemalan publisher. Fondo
de Cultura Económica, which distributes books throughout Mexico, Central
America and the Caribbean, is also a contest sponsor.
Ruiz-Pérez said the award is particularly surprising
because “Notas manuscripts llenas de
incógnitas” is a compilation of “B-sides” of his work: poems and fragments
he decided not to include in a different book he is writing and in another that
is due later this year. The format and numerous topics formed a unique product,
he said, one with a particular unity coming from its fragmented condition.
In a section of the book titled Revelations, he writes:
“God has come and did not tell me his
name/ but I knew that it was he who went down to illuminate/ the darkness of my
told me anything and everything you said in my ear/ I heard nothing but He
spoke softly and said yes/ nonexistent and leaves of the poplars shivered in
God revealed to me the secrets of the clouds, the murmur of rivers/ vocal
sources and passages of old houses/ inhabited dwarf angels."
Ruiz-Pérez said the book is conceived from readings, reflections
on literature, life and existence, in general.
In addition to his scholarly work in the field of Mexican literature,
Ruiz-Pérez is a critically acclaimed poet in Mexico. There, he has won numerous
national and regional poetry prizes, such as the José Gorostiza Poetry Prize
(2004), the Rodulfo Figueroa Regional Poetry Prize (2005), the Salvador
Gallardo Dávalos National Prize for Young Poets (2006). Such prizes have helped
him publish three books of poetry in Mexico, with two more to be published by the
Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura (Mexico) later this year.
The Ninth Annual Luis Cardoza y Aragón Poetry Prize will be
officially awarded during a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Mexican Embassy in
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