Dr. Margarita Pintado Burgos Receives Ambroggio Prize

Margarita Pintado poetry prize image

This prestigious award granted by the Academy of American Poets is given for a book-length manuscript of poems originally written in Spanish accompanied by an English translation. The winners receive $1,000 and publication by the University of Arizona Press.

Born in Puerto Rico, Dr. Margarita Pintado Burgos is the author of Ficción de venado (La Secta de los Perros, 2012), among other works. In 2022, she was awarded the Letras Boricuas Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation, which seeks to promote and elevate the voices of emerging and established Puerto Rican writers. Pintado holds a PhD in Spanish from Emory University and is a professor of language and literature at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Alejandra Quintana Arocho is a Puerto Rican writer and literary translator. She holds a BA in comparative literature and society from Columbia University and will pursue graduate studies at the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar in 2023 and doctoral studies at Columbia in 2024. Her publications include a centennial bilingual edition of Gabriela Mistral’s first book of poems, Desolación (Sundial House, 2023).

Judge Achy Obejas’ citation states: “The phrase ‘eye in heat’ can have a few different meanings. It can refer to a state of intense sexual desire, but it can also refer to a heightened awareness and excitement. Here, the phrase is used to describe the speaker’s state of mind as they try to make sense of the world around them. The speaker is both attracted to and repelled by the world. The poems here capture the poet’s intense desire to find meaning in this paradox. This can be a dangerous state, as they are trying to make sense of something both beautiful and terrifying. Ojo en Celo / Eye in Heat captures the poet’s vulnerability and their willingness to take risks in order to find a place in the world.”