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2022 Winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry Announced

Vickie Vertiz is the 2022 winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry. Vértiz is an award-winning Mexican American poet, writer, and professor whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Her first poetry collection, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, was published in the Camino del Sol Series at The University of Arizona Press. The collection won a 2018 PEN America literary prize.

Vertiz’s new collection of poems Auto/Body will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press in February 2023. The poems in this collection are an inexhaustible engine—sometimes a body, sometimes flesh—a sensual exploration of what it means to repair, to remake, to keep going even when rebuilding feels impossible. Uniting childhood memories of auto body shops with the language of queer identity, the poems investigate desire and selfhood. From odes to drag, to pushing back on the tyranny of patriarchy, to loving too hard and too queer, to growing up working-class in a time of incessant border violence and incarceration, this collection combusts with blood and fuel.

“The fierceness in Auto/Body does not relent, whether in its crisp memory capture or in its attention to legacy, to present, to future in its constant ache and rift of loveliness and tumult. With undeniable power and lush clarity, Vickie Vertiz writes a path for readers to follow even when ‘there’s nowhere to go,’ even when ‘the world keeps ending,’ writing with ‘a love which implores all of us to act & walk the fractures.'”

—Khadijah Queen, author of I’m So Fine

Vickie Vértiz is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California, Riverside. She now teaches in the Writing Program at UC Santa Barbara.

The Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame in conjunction with Notre Dame Press. The prizes are awarded to authors who have published at least one volume of poetry.

This piece first appeared at undpressnews.nd.edu.

For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts at e: pitts.5@nd.edu, p: 574.631.3267.

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