Engle to receive Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Sept. 20

September 09, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Margarita Engle, 2016 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, will receive the national children’s poetry honor at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on Penn State’s University Park campus. Following the award presentation, Engle will speak about her writing, specifically the use of historical works to communicate with children, and show photos from Cuba to illustrate scenes from her winning verse memoir, “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings.” The event also includes a book sale and author signing.

A Cuban-American author, Engle wrote “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings” about growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, her book was released the same week the U.S. Embassy in Havana reopened after more than a half-century of hostile relations between the two nations.

Engle has won numerous awards for her writing, including a 2009 Newbery Honor selection for “The Surrender Tree,” and 2014 PEN Center USA Award for “The Lightning Dreamer.”

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist, and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Established in 1993, the award is presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of poetry for children published in the previous calendar year. The winning poet or anthologist receives a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 honorarium, courtesy of Hopkins.

Selected by a panel of nationally recognized authors, librarians, teachers and scholars, including the previous year’s winner, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book and the Penn State University Libraries share joint administration of the annual award.

For more information about the Hopkins Award or questions about accommodations at the Sept. 20 award presentation, contact Caroline Wermuth at 814-863-5472, cvw1@psu.edu, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Lee Bennett Hopkins Award website.

  • image of dark-haired female author

    Margarita Engle won the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for her verse memoir, “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings,” about growing up as a child of two cultures, the United States and Cuba, during the Cold War.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • image of award-winning book cover featuring a dove and partial human face

    “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings” by Margarita Engle was selected for the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, a national award administered by Pennsylvania Center for the Book and Penn State University Libraries.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • image of a male poet sitting in front of a bookcase

    The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, established in 1993, is named for the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. A Pennsylvania native, Lee Bennett Hopkins is one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on the subject of children’s literature. He has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials.

    IMAGE: Penn State
(1 of 3)

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 14, 2016