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.