Winner of TIL Translation Award

On April 5, 2014, the Texas Institute of Letters awarded my book Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry the Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation. I accepted the award at the TIL annual banquet after being presented with a check for $1000. I am grateful to everyone who was so supportive and instrumental in my book’s success, including Jan Seale, Jerry Craven, Noe Vela, Nicol Bowles, Carmen Tafolla, Steven Schneider, Guadalupe Garcia McCall and the entire literary movement of the Río Grande Valley.

The Texas Institute of Letters was founded in 1936 by writers and professors inspired by the celebration of the Texas Centennial to form an organization that would promote interest in Texas literature and recognize literary and cultural achievement through a series of awards. Most prominent Texas authors are members, including individuals such as Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, Robert Caro, Dagoberto Gilb, Sandra Cisneros, Naomi Shihab Nye, Rick Riordan, Jan Seale and Chitra Divakaruni.

Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation, first given in 1991, is a biennial recognition of the best translated book published by a Texas author during the previous two years. A $1000 prize accompanies the award.


  1. Jill Albada Jelgersma

    Dear David Bowles: I am interested to know whether you translated any part of “Canto para las mujeres de Chalco” in your prize-winning translation Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry,for which many congratulations. I am working on the above poem at the moment. Thanking you, Jill

    • Jill, not in Flower, Song, Dance (though I really love “chālcacihuācuīcatl”). I’ve just wrapped up a translation of Romances and am working my way through Cantares, but I’m at about folio 50.

      However, should you have any questions or if I can be of any help at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

      Con todo gusto le brindo cualquier apoyo posible. ¡Suerte!

      Ah, and by the way, you can check out several of my translations from Nahuatl here:

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