Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pura Belpré Ganadores- Second Part

All photos courtesy of REFORMA
The National Association to Promote Library and Information 
Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking. 

Last Wednesday three Pura Belpré ganadores shared with us what this important award means to them. This is the link .

But when we are having fun, we don't want to stop. Let's continue with the celebración. Margarita Engle wants to share her palabras with all the blogueros. Then read the poem written by Sandra Ríos Balderama to know more about Pura Belpré.

Margarita Engle

I am so profoundly grateful!  Any phone call from an award committee is incredibly thrilling, but the Pura Belpré is especially rewarding, because it is uniquely critical in its role of promoting the acceptance of Latino voices.  

Writers are like remote islands. Our daily lives are quiet and solitary.  We never know whether our words have been understood, unless a reader tells us. So when an entire committee of the nation's most passionate, dedicated, distinguished readers, called to let me know that Hurricane Dancers would receive a Pura Belpré Honor, I was astounded.  The book was so difficult to research, and so challenging to write.  I couldn't believe that such a complex story had somehow met its goal of simple communication. This Pura Belpré Honor gives me the encouragement I need to keep trying, even when a project seems impossible.  It also gives publishers the encouragement they need to continue offering books that might otherwise be regarded as unusual, specialized, out-of-the-mainstream "minority" voices, rather than internationally recognized American Library Association honorees!  

To the Pura Belpré Committee, REFORMA, ALSC, ALA, and all the amazing children who danced so magnificently, I wish to add:  Thank you, thank you, thank you, gracias, gracias, gracias, for such a festive, welcoming, beautiful Celebración!  

Convergence of Spirits: This is the Place
by Sandra Ríos Balderrama

This is the place
where spirits meet
from this side
and beyond

the other side of the door
the tip of the paintbrush
the point of the pen
the curve of the heart

from this side 
and within

the stamina of the writer
the courage of the illustrator
the warm welcome of the librarian
the diligence of the publisher
the anguish of the selection committee.

And the spirits
they settle
within the child
that responds to the call of 
the illustrious book
Diego Rivera: This World and Ours
by Duncan Tonatiuh
and turns with effort, with his eyes so big 
the huge page
full of color and text and now fingerprints...
the page so grand and huge 
that it whisks gently
the chin 
of the child
with the slightest of breezes
of breath
of a woman
named Pura Belpré.

And just around the 
the bend 
of the child’s ear
is the very place
where Pura 
steps off of the plane
and on to the streets
of New York
after leaving her island
she stops
and looks around
and wonders
what her life will be. 

And this is the place 
just under the clavicle
and just over the child’s heart
where Pura
walks up the steps 
to the library doors
where she stops
and looks around
and wonders
what this first day
on the job
will bring.

This is the place
where Pura Belpré made 
where she makes 
where she will always be making 
a stop
on the pilgrimage
to her legacy
of joyful inclusion
on the bookshelf
on the floor near the sandals just kicked off
on the kitchen table
right there, right here 
with a little stain of chile, 
maybe sofrito, 
maybe caféconleche...
on the spine of the book...

on the lap of the young woman-girl 
that knows things 
and sees things
you know who she is
your daughter, your niece, your little sister...
the one that sits
on the bench
and finds herself
breathing just a little faster 
breathing just a little slower
whatever it is ...there is something different...
her breathing is just a little different
for she finds herself in the poems
in the story
in the pages 
within the branches 
of Under the Mesquite
by Guadalupe García McCall...

This is the place
where spirits converge
the Caribbean meeting Coahuila
the Midwest meeting New York
where Pura meets
and Rafael
and Sara
and Xavier...
our Beloveds.

This is the place
where the founders of this award
get all choked up
all puffed out
on their porches 
or their back row seats
to the conversations
the breakfasts
the drinks
this is the place
where Linda Perkins
Oralia Garza de Cortés
Toni Bissessar
and I
and so so many others
worked to establish this award
debate it through
convince it through
move-from-how-to-yes! it through
carry, see, and walk-it-with-love through.

All of you!
that responded to 
the whisk of breath
the one that blew
and whispered to us
“This is the place
Where you take a stand!”

For more Latino and Latina authors
For more Latina and Latino illustrators
not only because of demographics
or burgeoning populations
but because
this is a large world!
for this is a big world!
and within each of us a huge world
a world!
that calls upon her missing and lost stories...
a world
that insists on being whole.

for now
this corner of the world
the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom 
in Anaheim
This is the place!
where spirits converge
and we all
from many time zones
from both sides of time
make pilgrimage
to honor you: our 2012 Pura Belpré Authors and Illustrators!
You are the ones that illustrate and tell
You are the sacred ones
You are the dreamkeepers
that make this place
a dream come true...

and ...

Pura. You have arrived.
Please make room!
Open the door wider!
There is a beautiful Puerto Rican woman
with her suitcase full of puppets
and her throat full of folktales!
She has made her pilgrimage...
from the Island to New York to Anaheim...

Please escort her up the aisle
to the front row seat
saved for her...only her...this is her seat
in this place and 
oh yes! 
she is smiling
and wants to let us know
how good good good it feels
to have six more books!
to share with the children
books that affirm them
serve them
challenge them
tickle them
teach them
books that 
love them.

This is the place


Pura Belpré

Where spirits converge
This is the place. 

Convergence of Spirits: This is the Place

Written and Delivered 
by Award Co-Founder Sandra Ríos Balderrama
2012 Pura Belpré Award Ceremony
June 24, 2012
Anaheim, CA 


The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate. 

No comments: