Margarita Engle, Winner of the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award


Margarita Engle, 2016 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, will receive the national children’s poetry honor at 4:00pm on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at Penn State University. The event will take place in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Following the award presentation, Engle will speak about her writing, specifically the use of historical works to communicate with children, and show photos from Cuba to illustrate scenes from her winning verse memoir, “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings.” The event also includes a book sale and author signing.

A Cuban-American author, Engle wrote “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings” about growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, her book was released the same week the U.S. Embassy in Havana reopened after more than a half-century of hostile relations between the two nations.

Engle has won numerous awards for her writing, including a 2009 Newbery Honor selection for “The Surrender Tree,” and 2014 PEN Center USA Award for “The Lightning Dreamer.”

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist, and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Established in 1993, the award is presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year. The winning poet or anthologist receives a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 honorarium, courtesy of Hopkins.


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