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The University of New Mexico


Media Contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627

April 2, 2007

UNM to Present Premio Aztlán Literary Prize

University Libraries at the University of New Mexico recognizes emerging writer Reyna Grande as the winner of the 2006 Premio Aztlán Literary Award. Ms. Grande, who is an English as a Second Language and Citizenship Teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District, will receive $1,000 and deliver a public lecture on Thursday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in the Willard Reading Room in UNM’s Zimmerman Library. Prior to the reading, a talk for students takes place, also in the Willard Reading room, at 11 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Across a Hundred Mountains” is a stunning and poignant story of migration, loss and discovery as two women -- one born in Mexico, one in the United States -- find their lives joined in the most unlikely way. The phenomenon of Mexican immigration to the United States is one of the most controversial issues of our time. While it is often discussed in terms of the political and economic implications, Grande, with this brilliant debut novel and her own profound insider's perspective, puts a human face on the subject. Who are the men, women and children whose lives are affected by the forces that propel so many to risk life and limb, crossing the border in pursuit of a better life? Grande’s book, published by Atari Press Simon and Schuster, will be available for purchase at the event.

Grande, born in Guerrero, Mexico in 1975, followed her parents to the United States at nine years of age. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1999 and was named a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow in 2003. She lives in Los Angeles with her son.

The Premio Aztlán Literary Award is a national literary award, established to encourage and reward emerging Chicana and Chicano authors. Renowned author Rudolfo Anaya and his wife Patricia founded Premio Aztlán in 1993. The prize was reestablished in their honor in 2004 by the University of New Mexico Libraries

To be considered, each entrant must have authored no more than two books as well as be active in the Chicana/o community. Former Premio Aztlán recipients -- Denise Chavez, Pat Mora, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Sergio Toncoso and Mary Helen Lagasse -- have become well-known literary figures.

For more information about the Premio Aztlán Literary Award, contact Teresa Marquez at: andaluz@unm.edu or phone (505) 277-0582.


The University of New Mexico is the state's largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state's only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico's only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation.