‘A riot in the heart’: A Conversation with Author Benjamin Alire Sáenz

  • Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez The University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

In this interview, Benjamin Alire Sáenz shares his love of writing for young adults and his connections to characters readers have grown to admire over the years.

Author Biography

Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez, The University of Texas at El Paso
Rodrigo Joseph Rodríguez is an assistant professor of literacy and English education in the Department of English at The University of Texas at El Paso, which is located on the border across from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. His research on language acquisition and the teaching of academic writing, socially responsible literacies, and children’s and young adult literatures has appeared in various education and language arts journals and books. He is an advocate of El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day), which is an initiative and daily commitment to link all children, adolescents, and families to books, languages, and cultures. He lives in El Paso and Austin, Texas.

References

Abate, M. A., & Kidd, K. B. (Eds.) (2011). Over the rainbow: Queer children's and young adult literature. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Alsup, J. (2010). Young adult literature and adolescent identity across cultures and classrooms: Contexts for the literary lives of teens. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Burke, J. (2013). The English teacher's companion: A completely new guide to classroom, curriculum, and the profession (4th ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

DeWitt, P. (2012). Dignity for all: Safeguarding LGBT students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781483387697

Garcia, A. (2013). Critical foundations in young adult literature: Challenging genres. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-398-0

Garibay, L. Y. (2013, Spring/Summer). UTEP professor wins 2013 PEN/Faulkner Prize for Fiction. UTEP Magazine 5(2), 36-38. Retrieved from http://utepmagazine.utep.edu/downloads/utep_magazine-spring-summer-2013.pdf

Jiménez, J. R. (1990). Ideolojía (1897–1957): Metamórfosis, IV. A. Sánchez Romeralo (Ed.). Barcelona: Anthropos.

Lewis, M. A., & Durand, E. S. (2014). Sexuality as risk and resistance in young adult literature. In C. A. Hill (Ed.), The critical merits of young adult literature: Coming of age (pp. 38-54). New York: Routledge.

Martin, M. (Narrator). (2013, February 20). Discovering sexuality through teen lit [Radio broadcast episode]. In D. I. Ardalan (Producer), Tell Me More. Washington, DC: National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2013/02/20/172495550/discovering-sexuality-through-teen-lit

Matos, A. D. (2013, October 20). On YA fiction with gay Latino characters: Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. Retrieved from http://angelmatos.net/2013/10/20/aristotle-and-dante/

Peterson, K. M. (2013, January 31). Between violence and tenderness: Aristotle and Dante author Sáenz talks to SLJ. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2013/01/authors-illustrators/interviews/between-violence-and-tenderness-aristotle-and-dante-author-saenz-talks-to-slj/#_

Ramirez, C. (2013, March 19). El Paso author Benjamin Alire Sáenz wins PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. El Paso Times. Retrieved from http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_22823132/el-paso-author-benjamin-alire-saenz-honored-his-border-stories

Sadowski, M. (2013). In a queer voice: Journeys of resilience from adolescence to adulthood. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York: Simon & Schuster BFYR.

Saenz, B. A. (1995). Dark and perfect angels: A collection of poems. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press.

Recommended Works by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Young Adult Novels for Reading by Teachers and for Adolescent Study

Sáenz, B. A. (2010). He forgot to say goodbye. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2011). Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2012). Last night I sang to the monster. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York: Simon & Schuster BFYR.

Bilingual Children’s Books to Use as Mentor YA Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing

Sáenz, B. A. (1998). A gift from Papá Diego: Un regalo de papá Diego. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2001). Grandma Fina and her wonderful umbrellas: La Abuelita Fina y sus sombrillas maravillosas. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2008). A perfect season for dreaming: Un tiempo perfecto para soñar. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Sáenz, B. A. (2012). The dog who loved tortillas: La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Published
2015-05-31