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Creative Arts Day Speaker

Sarah Cortez

Sarah Cortez

Sarah Cortez, member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of an acclaimed poetry collection, How to Undress a Cop, and winner of the PEN Texas literary award in poetry. She has edited Urban Speak: Poetry of the City and Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives, winner of the 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award. She has also edited Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery and Indian Country Noir (Akashic Books) and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, which was short-listed for the 2012 International Latino Book Awards. Kirkus Reviews has hailed the anthology as “a consistent, well-crafted collection,” while the starred review in Booklist says the book “presents stories that are notable both for their authenticity and for their language.” In 2012, her memoir entitled Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston was published by Texas Review Press. A collection of poetry from the urban street cop’s perspective, Cold Blue Steel, (Texas Review Press) was released to enthusiastic reviews in 2013. Also released to critical acclaim in 2013 is Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence (Arte Público Press), which won a 2013 Border Regional Library Association Award for Southwest Book of the Year and the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Latino Focused Non-Fiction (Bilingual). In March, 2015, Ms. Cortez’s new poetry anthology, Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance (Texas Review Press, 2014), was released. 45 previously unpublished poems by poets answer the question: What do you remember about Mexico? 

The anthology won an International Latino Book Awards 2015. Also in 2015, Cold Blue Steel was shortlisted for the Pen Southwest Literary Award. 

Her work has appeared in The Sun, Ra le: Poetry for the 21st Century, The Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, The Texas Review, New Texas, Louisiana Literature, Blue Rock Review, Pennsylvania English, The Midwest Quarterly and many other publications. Her work is widely anthologized in collections by Penguin, the Great Books Foundation, and other international publishers.