Sandra Cisneros accepts PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature

Sandra Cisneros | Photo credit, Erasmo Guerra

Sandra Cisneros | Photo:Erasmo Guerra

February 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Sandra Cisneros (MFA, 1978) received the 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature at a February 26 ceremony in New York, NY.

Sandra Cisneros is an activist, poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, and artist. Her classic coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over six million copies, has been translated into more than twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and university curricula across the U.S. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and prose, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary degrees, national and international book awards, Chicago's Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of Arts presented to her by then-President Barack Obama at the White House.

Cisneros' books include a chapbook of poetry, Bad Boys (1980); two full-length poetry books, My Wicked Wicked Ways (1987) and Loose Woman (1994); a collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991); a children's book, Hairs/Pelitos (1994); the novels The House on Mango Street (1991) and Caramelo (2002), and the picture book Have You Seen Marie? (2012). Her latest book is a collection of personal essays, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (2015).

From the judges’ citation:

“Sandra Cisneros has said that she writes because ‘the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning.’ In a formidable and awe-inspiring body of work, which includes fiction, memoir, and poetry, Cisneros brings us astounding and lyrical voices from burning, maligned, devastated, as well as reassembled houses, and nations. It’s hard to imagine navigating our world today without her stories and her voice guiding us towards needed much reclamation and endurance.”

For more information:
PEN America Literary Awards

"PEN America to Honor Sandra Cisneros for Achievement in International Literature at February 26 Ceremony In New York" (

"Sandra Cisneros: A Dedication to Word-Workers, Asylum Seekers and More" (