Awards to be presented at March banquet

TIL President Carmen Tafolla is especially proud of the “quality and the diversity of this year’s award-winners, which range from teachers to journalists to an astronaut, reflecting some of the exciting variety in authors’ experiences, styles, themes, and genres.” 

 

The Texas Institute of Letters has announced thirteen recipients of their annual TIL Literary Awards. More than $24,000 in award monies will be given to these writers at the annual TIL Awards Banquet, which is scheduled to take place March 28, 2020, at the Georgetown Sheraton.

 

TIL President Carmen Tafolla is especially proud of the “quality and the diversity of this year’s award-winners, which range from teachers to journalists to an astronaut, reflecting some of the exciting variety in authors’ experiences, styles, themes, and genres.” 

 

TIL AWARD WINNERS:

 

Oscar Cásares: Winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction, for Where We Come From

Finalists: Norma Elia Cantú, for Cabañuelas; Bryan Allen Carr, for Opioid, Indiana

 

Holly George-Warren: Winner of the Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Non-Fiction, for Janis

Finalists: Jason DeParle, for A Good Provider is One Who Leaves; Steve Davis, for The Essential J. Frank Dobie

 

Ron Tyler: Winner of the Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Work, for The Art of Texas

Finalists: Alan Governar, for The Blues Come to Texas; Kathryn O’Rourke, for O’Neil Ford on Architecture

 

Bryan Washington: Winner of The Sergio Troncoso Award for Best Work of First Fiction, for Lot

Finalists: Kimberly King Parsons, for Black Light; Heather Harper Ellett, for Ain’t Nobody Nobody

 

Naomi Shihab Nye: Winner of The Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry, for The Tiny Journalist

Finalists: Chelsea Wagenaar, for The Spinning Class; ire’ne lara silva, for Cuicacalli 

 

Lupe Mendez: Winner of The John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry, for Why I Am Like Tequila

Finalists: Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, for Newsworthy; Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, for A Wake with Nine Shades

 

José M. Hernández:  Winner of The Texas Institute of Letters Best Children’s Picture Book, for The Boy Who Touched the Stars / El niño que alcanzó las estrellas

Finalists: Maria Illich, for The Legend of the Ladybug; María Alma González Pérez, for ¡Todos a Celebrar! A Hispanic Customs & Traditions Alphabet Book 

 

Rebecca Balcárcel: Winner of the Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book, for The Other Half of Happy

Finalists: Meredith Davis and Rebeka Uwitonze, for Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk; Mobi Warren, for The Bee Maker

 

Rubén Degollado: Winner of Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book, for Throw

Finalists: Kathi Appelt, for Angel Thieves; Vanessa Caraveo, for Valiance

 

Skip Hollandsworth: Winner of The Edwin “Bud” Shrake Award for Best Short Nonfiction, for “Kabika’s Story”

Finalists: Rod Davis, for “Mother Courage”; Michael Hall, for “Crowd-sourcing Justice”

 

Sergio Troncoso: Winner of The Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story, for “Rosary at the Border”

Finalists: William Cobb, for “The Wall”; Rudy Ruiz, for “Limes”

 

Cyrus Cassells: Winner of The Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, for Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas

Finalists: Julia Leverone, for Fuel and Fire: Selected Poems of Francisco Urondo, 1956-1976; Robert Cantrick, for The Pope’s Left Hand

 

John Rechy: Winner of the 2020 Lon Tinkle Life Achievement Award, Rechy is the author of fourteen novels, three plays, a memoir, numerous essays and literary reviews, and books which have become mainstays in the core curriculum of Chicano Literature, American Studies, and Gay Fiction. Called by Gore Vidal “One of the few original American writers of the last century,” the first novelist to receive PEN-USA-West's Lifetime Achievement Award, and  winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Rechy published his first novel, City of Night, in 1963. It became a national bestseller, a groundbreaking departure in American literature. Larry McMurtry said of it, “Probably no novel published in this decade is so complete, so well held together, and so important as City of Night.” The Washington Post called it “one of the major books to be published since World War II.”

 

For more information on the TIL or on attending this spring’s awards banquet, contact president@texasinstituteofletters.org or see the TIL website at www.texasinstituteofletters.org.

 

The Texas Institute of Letters is a nonprofit honor society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and recognize distinctive literary achievement. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most respected writers—including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and MacArthur “Genius” Grants.