Miami, August 16, 2022 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Book Fair, in collaboration with the National Poetry Series, is pleased to announce the 2022 Paz Prize for Poetry winner: Cuban poet Oneyda Gonzalez for her manuscript El lazo infinito.
Born in Camagüey, Cuba, Gonzalez has previously published La ciudad promisoria and El camino de Bárbara (poetry). Her texts appear in the anthologies Mujer adentro and Catedral sumergida. In 2003 she published the book of narratives Las cinco y una noches, and coordinated the compilation Escrito sobre un rostro, about Severo Sarduy, to whom she returned in Seres en el borde (2007). Polvo de alas. El guión cinematográfico en Cuba (2009) brings together her interviews with critics, directors and screenwriters of Cuban cinema. In 2010, Cuentos claros is published, while she was working on the documentary project Severo Secreto, which was awarded the “Amigos de la Biblioteca de Princeton” Research Grant in 2015. Her most recent publication is Una biografía coral sobre Severo Sarduy, Ediciones Rialta, 2022. Gonzalez has a master’s degree in Latin American culture.
“I am very excited that the Miami Book Fair’s Paz Prize for Poetry has been awarded to my book El lazo infinito, Gonzalez said. “Writing a book is a learning process, and it is very nice to see that it is received with affection. I feel that the Paz Prize seeks to expand links between the many cultures that coexist in this country by offering the opportunity for Latino writers’ texts to be read in both languages.”
Gonzalez’s book, selected by judge Lourdes Vázquez, will be published in an English and Spanish bilingual edition by Akashic Books.
“There was strong competition, but El lazo infinito stands out for its unique inner depth,” Vázquez said. “In a kind of introspective scenario —a movie theater— a poem begins the rite and as a voice, an ‘I’ (that personal identity) in continuous dialogue with her inner voice. That never-ending reflection creates a universe of revelations, desires, and knowledge, and its course diverge, intermingle, and grow like the stems of a plant.”
Named in honor of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet, Octavio Paz, the Paz Prize for Poetry was launched in 2012 and recognizes a previously unpublished poetry book written in Spanish by a poet residing in the U.S. Past winners include Dinapiera Di Donato, Carlos Pintado, Legna Rodriguez Iglesias, Johanny Vazquez Paz and Alejandro Pérez-Cortés. More than 200 poets have submitted works for the Paz Prize in Poetry.
“It is intensely gratifying to be able to introduce a broad spectrum of poetic voices through the Paz Prize,” said Lissette Mendez, Miami Book Fair’s Director of Programming. “These poems are available in both English and Spanish, and it is fascinating to experience their unique cadence in both languages. Discovering a new poet, who might have gone unnoticed due to language barriers, is even more marvelous.”
The finalists for this edition of the Paz Prize for Poetry were: Giancarlo Huapaya, Andrea Cote Botero, Edgar Galeano, Carlos Aguasaco, Elidio La Torre Lagares, Leon Felix Batista, Manuel Lopez, Claudia Noguera Penso, Ena Ruiz, Rosie Inguanzo, Melanie Márquez Adams, Lila Zemborain, Douglas Gómez Barrueta, Keila Vall de la Ville, Luis Correa-Díaz, Noraya Ccoyure, Mike Hernández y Lionel Valdivia.
The National Poetry Series was established in 1978 by Daniel Halpern and James Michener to ensure the publication of five collections of poetry annually through participating publishers. More than 175 books have been awarded since the Series’ inception. Board members include Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Mitchell Kaplan, Campbell McGrath, Pablo Medina, Gary Soto, Ilan Stavans, and Luisa Valenzuela.
Miami Book Fair
Widely recognized as the largest and finest literary gathering in the U.S., the Miami Book Fair’s eight-day festival features readings and conversation with the world’s most renowned authors and more than 200 booksellers and exhibitors across various genres and interests. Book lovers are also treated to culinary presentations, live music, dance and theater performances, interactive art projects, fun and educational activities for children, and more! In addition to the annual festival, the Miami Book Fair builds community and promotes reading and writing throughout the year with activities open to all, including creative writing courses taught by local and visiting authors, literary gatherings and happy hours and Read to Learn Books for Free, a partnership with The Children’s Trust that distributes more than 160,000 free books a year to children in Miami-Dade County.
Miami Book Fair is made possible through the generous support of the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Miami; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Miami Downtown Development; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners. Miami Book Fair: Building community, one reader at a time.
About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others. MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences. It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs. MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system. MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit www.mdc.edu.