Margarita Engle (born in Los Angeles, California on September 2, 1951)[1] is a Cuban American poet and author of many award-winning books for children, young adults and adults.[2] Most of Engle's stories are written in verse and are a reflection of her Cuban heritage and her deep appreciation and knowledge of nature.[3] She became the first Latino awarded a Newbery Honor in 2009 for The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom.[4] She was selected by the Poetry Foundation to serve from 2017 to 2019 as the sixth Young People's Poet Laureate.[5] On October 9, 2018, Margarita Engle was announced the winner of the 2019 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She was nominated by 2019 NSK Prize jury member Lilliam Rivera.[6]

Margarita Engle
Engle in 2014
Engle in 2014
Born (1951-09-02) September 2, 1951 (age 72)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
EducationCalifornia State Polytechnic University, Pomona (BS)
Iowa State University (MS)
University of California, Riverside

Early life edit

Engle's father was born in Los Angeles, California and her mother in Trinidad, Cuba. Although Engle was born and raised in California, growing up, she spent many summers with her extended family in Cuba.[3] As a child, she was introduced to poetry in Spanish, particularly the works of José Martí.[7]

Career edit

Engle earned a B.S. from California State Polytechnic University in 1974, an M.S. from Iowa State University in 1977, and nearly completed a doctoral degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside in 1983.[1] Before starting her writing career, Engle was a tenured professor of agronomy at California Polytechnic University. While working on her doctoral degree, she took a seminar in creative writing with Tomás Rivera, and credits this experience with igniting her passion to write.[7] She lives in Central California, where she enjoys helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.[7]

Awards edit

Entire body of work (2019)

THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA, A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano (Henry Holt & Co., 2006)

  • 2008 Pura Belpré Medal for author[8]
  • 2006 Américas Award winner [9]
  • International Reading Association Teachers' Choice
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
  • Bank Street

THE SURRENDER TREE, Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom (Henry Holt & Co., 2008)

TROPICAL SECRETS, Holocaust Refugees in Cuba (Henry Holt & Co., 2009)

  • 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award[10]
  • Paterson Prize
  • 2010 Américas Award Commendation [9]
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
  • California Teachers Association Recommended Book

THE FIREFLY LETTERS, A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba (Henry Holt & Co., 2010)

  • 2011 Pura Belpré Honor for author[8]
  • 2011 Américas Award Honor [9]
  • Jane Addams Award Finalist
  • California Book Award Finalist
  • International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society
  • NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Book
  • Amelia Bloomer Book
  • TAYSHAS Choice
  • Junior Library Guild Selection

SUMMER BIRDS, The Butterflies of Maria Merian (Henry Holt & Co., 2010, picture book)

  • 2012 Américas Award winner [9]
  • Kirkus Best Books for Children
  • NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Book
  • Amelia Bloomer Book

HURRICANE DANCERS, The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck (Henry Holt & Co., 2011)

  • 2012 Pura Belpré Honor for author[8]
  • ALSC 2012 Notable Children's Book for older readers
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults nominee
  • Poetry for Children Blog's Top 20 Most Distinctive Books of Poetry 2011
  • 2012 White Ravens List

DRUM DREAM GIRL, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt., 2015)


FOREST WORLD (Simon and Schuster., 2017)

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • 2018 Green Earth Book Award[11]
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Walter Dean Myers Honor Book[12]

Selected works edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Something About The Author Online – Document – Margarita Engle (1951–)". Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  2. ^ "A video interview with Margarita Engle |". Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  3. ^ a b "Margarita Engle". Archived from the original on 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  4. ^ a b "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". 1999-11-30. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Margarita Engle Named Young People's Poet Laureate".
  6. ^ "Margarita Engle Named Winner of the 2019 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature". The Neustadt Prizes. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Neighboring Nations | Margarita Engle on Her Work, Cuba, and the History That Binds Us". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  8. ^ a b c d admin (1999-11-30). "The Pura Belpré Award winners, 1996–present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Award Winners". Americas Award. CLASP. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Sydney Taylor Book Awards" (PDF). The Association of Jewish Libraries. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Green Earth Book Award | The Nature Generation". Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  12. ^ Engle, Margarita (2018-08-28). Forest World. ISBN 978-1-4814-9058-0.

External links edit