SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rican poet, editor and academic Mara Pastor Rodríguez received the Ambroggio Prize from the Academy of American Poets on September 23, 2020 for her poetic anthology Natal Debt. This recognition, which includes a cash prize of $ 1,000, is awarded to a poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The anthology collects poems from his last five books, as well as some unpublished ones.
“I am honored and proud to be the third poet to receive this award and the second of Puerto Rican origin. It is the only award of its kind at the national level. I think it is important to make our literature known in these spaces. I am excited to use this visibility to publicize the poetry of many other voices in my country’s literature, to which I have also dedicated a career as a researcher ”shared Pastor Rodríguez with the university newspaper Huellas, of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico, where the poet also serves as Associate Professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies.
For the translation of the manuscript, the author had the collaboration of María José Giménez, with whom she had already worked on the translation of her book As Though the Wound had Heard. Giménez was joined by Anna Rosenwong, who proposed and organized the selection. “… In them I have found the best allies of my poetry. This award is as much mine as it is for my translators ”, stated the author in an interview with Huellas.
The Cuban poet and storyteller Pablo Medina. Judge of the contest, stated that “Deuda Natal is a book of extraordinary simplicity and depth. He searches and (re) searches for many truths and finds them, not in absolute values, but in daily chores – home, romantic and maternal love, the roads that lead to the sea and the coming and going of migration, a world in which many of us live. Natal Debt it is a book for all those who come, those who go and those who remain ”.
The anthology will be published by the University of Arizona Press, Nationally recognized for its commitment to publishing award-winning works by emerging and established voices in Latino literature.
The Ambroggio Award was established in 2017, and it is the only annual award of its kind in the United States that honors American poets whose first language is Spanish.