|Do You Know? Sheryl Luna, English Department||
May 19, 2004
First-year English Department adjunct faculty member Sheryl Luna is the recipient of the inaugural Andres Montoya Poetry Prize given by the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies. The prize, the first of its kind in the country, honors a full-length manuscript by a Latino/a poet who has yet to publish a book.
"Pity the Drowned Horses," a collection of Luna's poetry, will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press next year.
"I'm very excited and thankful about the award and the opportunity to be published," Luna said. "It's often very difficult to publish a collection of poetry."
Luna grew up in El Paso, Texas, which sits along the Mexican border, and the theme of "borders" - be they physical, metaphysical, cultural or social - is significant throughout her book.
"Sheryl carves out of the El Paso landscape the music of the borderlands where loss and acceptance converge," said poet Robert Vasquez, the final judge for the prize. "She exquisitely captures, like no other poet before her, the unsung positive capability of the desert."
A graduate of Texas Tech University, Luna holds master's degrees from Texas Woman's University and the University of Texas, El Paso, and a doctorate from the University of North Texas. She originally wanted to write fiction, but with the encouragement of a professor, started writing poetry as a college undergraduate.
"A professor once told me that a good poem allows the reader to go on a psychological, emotional journey with the writer," Luna said.
A finalist for
the 2003 National Poetry Series book awards and the Perugia Press Intro
Award, Luna has had poems published widely in literary journals. She
loves working with her students at Metro. "I've taught at other
places, and I enjoy the students at Metro so much," said Luna.
"I learn a lot from them."
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