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Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Sáenz at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Sáenz at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Born August 16, 1954 (1954-08-16) (age 66)
Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USA
Language English
Nationality American
Period 1990s-present
Genre Novels, short stories, poetry, young adult literature
Subject Hispanic and Latino American culture, LGBT
Notable works Carry Me Like Water, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club
Notable awards American Book Award (1992)
PEN/Faulkner Award (2013)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born August 16, 1954) is an American poet, novelist, and writer of children's books.

Early life and Education

Sáenz was raised near Las Cruces, New Mexico. He earned a BA in Humanities and Philosophy from St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. He continues to live and work in El Paso, Texas. After 15 years of marriage to a female El Paso family court judge, he filed for divorce in 2009 and stated he is gay.

Awards

  • Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship, poetry
  • 1992 American Book Award, for Calendar of Dust
  • Lannan Poetry Fellowship 1993
  • Carry Me Like Water, Southwest Book Award 1996 (Border Regional Library Association)
  • Dark and Perfect Angels, Southwest Book Award 1996 (Border Regional Library Association)
  • Grandma Fina and Her Wonderful Umbrellas, Best Children's Book 2000, Texas Institute of Letters
  • Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, Americas Book Award, the Paterson Book Prize, the J Hunt Award, Finalist Los Angeles Book Prize, BBYA Top Ten Books for Young Adults
  • He Forgot to Say Goodbye. Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, Southwest Book Award (Border Regional Library Association), Chicago Public Library, Best of the Best Books for Teens, New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen 2009, Commended Title, Americas Book Award 2009
  • A Perfect Season for Dreaming, Best Children's Book, Friends of the Austin Public Library 2008 (Texas Institute of Letters), Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year 2008, Kirkus Review 2008 Notable Books for Children, Paterson Book Prize
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Stonewall Book Award; Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award, 2013; Honor Book, Michael L. Printz Award, 2013; Pura Belpré Award, 2013.

Works

Poetry

Short stories

Novels

  • Carry Me Like Water, Hyperion, 1995
    • En el tiempo de la Luz, Rayo/HarperCollins 2006

Young-adult novels

  • Last Night I Sang to the Monster, Cinco Puntos Press 2009
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, Clarion Books, 2017

Children's books

  • A Perfect Season for Dreaming, Cinco Puntos Press 2008.
  • The Dog Who Loved Tortillas, Cinco Puntos Press 2009

Anthologies

  • "To the Desert," "Resurrections," Twentieth Century American Poetry (2004), edited by Dana Gioia, McGraw Hill
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