Benjamin Garcia, MFA ’11, wins National Poetry Series award

The National Poetry Series is sponsoring the publication in 2020 of the first collection of poems by Creative Writing Program alumnus Benjamin Garcia, MFA ’11.

The National Poetry Series is a literary awards program choosing five books of poetry each year to sponsor for publication. Manuscripts solicited through an annual open competition are selected by poets of national stature and published by a group of trade, university and small presses. The series seeks to support and increase the audience for poetry by heightening its visibility among readers and engaging publishers and booksellers.

Previous National Poetry Series winners from Cornell have included Sara Eliza Johnson ’06 (“Bone Map,” 2013); David Joel Friedman ’60 (“The Welcome,” 2004); and Wendy Battin ’75 (“In the Solar Wind,” 1983).

Garcia’s book “Thrown in the Throat” was selected for the series by writer and editor Kazim Ali; it will be published by Milkweed Editions.

Garcia is a native of Houston, Texas, and earned his bachelor’s in English and Spanish from the University of New Mexico. He works as a community health specialist in the Finger Lakes region of New York, providing HIV/hepatitis C/sexually transmitted disease and opioid overdose prevention education to higher risk communities.

Among his literary honors, Garcia is a 2019 Lambda Literary fellow and won the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest; was the 2018 CantoMundo fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival; and the 2017 Latinx scholar at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. He also was a finalist for the 2019 New England Review Award for Emerging Writers and the second-place winner of Palette Poetry’s 2018 Emerging Poet Prize.

His work has appeared in the New England Review, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, the Missouri Review, Four Way Review and “Best New Poets 2018.”

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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