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UT Arlington professor’s poetry earns international award

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

liberal artsAll Topics

Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez, an associate professor of Spanish at the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts, has been named the 2015 winner of the prestigious León Felipe International Poetry Prize.

Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez

Libro de la ceniza (Book of Ashes) revolves around the metaphor of fire on two fronts: passion that creates and turns to ashes everything it touches. The León Felipe Prize jury considered Libro de la ceniza among works by more than 400 poets from 17 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Morocco, and Spain, the host country.

“I am honored to win this prize, which provides a wonderful window for my work outside of Latin America and the United States,” said Ruiz-Pérez.

“Spain has the most influential publishing industry in the Spanish-speaking world, therefore disembarking in this country means gaining access to a potentially huge number of readers.”

This marks the second time in recent years that Ruiz-Pérez has been honored internationally for his work. In 2013, he 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.

Paul Wong, dean of the UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts, commended Ruiz-Pérez, his contribution to poetry and to the University.

“We are extremely proud of the international recognition that Dr. Ruiz-Pérez’s poetry has received over a number of years,” Wong said. “The León Felipe Award further elevates Dr. Ruiz-Pérez’s status as one of the leading poets in the world. The honor will no doubt inspire students and add to the prestige of our faculty and staff committed to academic excellence.”

The León Felipe Prize honors a well-known Spanish writer exiled in Mexico in 1938 due to the Spanish Civil War. Ruiz-Pérez said Felipe’s work had a tremendous impact on Mexican culture and it resonates with him today.  

Ruiz-Pérez has taught Spanish language and Latin American, and Mexican literature at UT Arlington since 2005. He has also been a Faculty Research Associate of the Center for Mexican American Studies.

-- James Dunning, contributing writer

About the College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts includes 12 departments that house disciplines in the arts (with national accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Art & Design and The National Association of Schools of Music), the humanities, the social sciences, and the areas of communication, languages, and linguistics. More than 4,700 students are enrolled in its 27 undergraduate and 19 graduate degrees, which include the M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs in English, Transatlantic History, and Linguistics. Students and faculty have been recognized nationally and internationally for their research scholarship and creative activity. Visit to learn more.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at