Noted Writer Ana Castillo Earns Inaugural Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award

Event: Award-winning poet, essayist and novelist Ana Castillo will receive the first Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award from the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) at The University of Texas at Austin.

When: 5 p.m., May 5.

Where: ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center Auditorium. A map is online.

Background: Castillo has long been considered one of the leading voices to emerge from the experiences of Chicanas. Her work has been critically acclaimed and widely anthologized in the United States and abroad. Her awards include an American Book Award for "The Mixquiahuala Letters," the Carl Sandburg Award and the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award. She has also earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry.

Each year CMAS holds a lecture or symposia in honor of Américo Paredes, one of the center's principal founders and first director, whose service to the center, university and the academy spanned more than 40 years. May 5, 2009 will mark the 10-year anniversary of Paredes' death. His scholarship on the culture of the people of Greater Mexico helped lay the foundation of our understanding of the people of the Lower Rio Grande Border and inspired a generation of Mexican American scholars. To honor his memory, CMAS will present its first Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award. The prize will be awarded about every four years to an individual whose work significantly affects the field of Mexican American studies.

This event is open to the public. A reception will follow the award ceremony.