Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Volunteer Host

Benjamin Alire Sáenz received the American Book Award in 1992 for his first book of poems, Calendar of Dust. A former Wallace Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford, he also received a Lannan Poetry Fellowship, a Southwest Book Award, the Paterson Prize, and the Americas Book Award and was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. He is the author of over 10 books, both fiction and poetry. His most recent poetry collection is The Book of What Remains (Copper Canyon Press, 2010).


His latest YA novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was published in 2011 from Simon and Schuster.  The book has won the Pura Belpre Author Award, the Stonewall Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, and was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book.   Aristotle and Dante has also won the 2013 Lamda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult Literature.


Saenz was the recipient of the 2013 PEN/Faukner Award for his 2012 collection of stories, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club.  The book is also a winner of the 2013 Lamda Literary Award under the category General Gay Fiction.


Saenz is the chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Words On A Wire

Words on a Wire is a show about fiction, poetry, the writing community, the publishing world and whatever other issues concern literary writers and readers of books. Hosted by two active writers, each show will include an interview with an established or emerging writer who has a new book, from famous award-winning veterans to hot young writers with books to watch out for.

On “Poem of the Week” we will read a poem from a collection we love or talk about a new book we have just discovered, or sometimes re-discovered. We also have a segment called “Poetic License” which is our way of giving writers their say. We hand over to writers we admire three to five minutes to talk about whatever they want.