it is with great joy that I write you, from my current temporary office in Mexico City, to share fantastic news:
Today, it’s been announced that I am the recipient of the Ambroggio Prize 2022 by The Academy of American Poets.
The awarded book, ‘Lotería: Sorteo Nocturno / The Lottery: Nocturnal Sweepstakes’ will be published by the The University of Arizona Press in the Spring of 2023. It was written through the winter in Denmark during my masters specialization at DDSKS, as a response to our reflections on diversity and inclusion… the questions of identity, agency and territory which I learned to navigate since my childhood in Colombia and in its war, and which became a vocabulary while growing up in the US… concepts which remain an open wound in my life as a migrant in the EU.
Just like bodies of water, our bodies are in permanent motion and cannot be divided nor made stagnant by frontiers nor by political agendas. Like poetry, we are meant to be in constant flow. I dedicate this award to every political refugee, asylum seeker, migrant and worldthreader, whose reality is fragmented by the dreams of the past and the memories of alternate futures.
My gratitude goes to the Academy of American Poets, the University of Arizona Press, and Den Danske Scenekunstskole (Danish National School of Performing Arts) for their support to my work.
ABOUT THE BOOK, judge Raina J. León said: “In every beginning, there is a river that entices with its generational wisdom, its own invocations, its own knowledge that what will come is what has been. La Lotería: Sorteo Nocturno alchemizes lotería symbology as vessels for myth, migration, and becoming. What belongs to centuries of play and divination is also seen anew in this text; we learn how even a sound can cause a room to wither. Poems arise from archetypical cards blazon out with new relevance; ‘The Milk’ and ‘The Customs Office’ have as much to say as ‘The Wall,’ as much about chaos and loss as they offer moments when the human experience, its fullness, becomes universal. ‘But how do I tell the builders / I don’t want grey cement / attaching me to the ground?’ This book reminds us that the drums of war continue to beat their fear and devastation into one’s bones even after the body has risen to the sky, leaving runways of scattered articles of life. What we leave behind in hopes of peace! Injustice waits when you land and caws your name in front of its crow ‘collection of panicked deer eyes.’ The game plays on and these poems invite a gamble: read and you just might change your life. The river will be there, at the beginning, and it may become the rain within you.”
ABOUT THE AWARD: The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by the University of Arizona Press, which is nationally recognized for its commitment to publishing the award-winning works of emerging and established voices in Latinx and Indigenous literature, as well as groundbreaking scholarship in Latinx and Indigenous studies.
Established in 2017, the Ambroggio Prize is the only annual award of its kind in the United States that honors American poets whose first language is Spanish.
You can pre-order the book here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loter-a-elizabeth-torres/1141751055
or here: https://www.amazon.com/Loter%C3%ADa-Nocturnal-Sweepstakes-Ambroggio-English/dp/0816549605
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