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.