National Book Awards Acceptance Speeches

Victor Martinez, Winner of the 1996 YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE AWARD
for Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I think I'm supposed to say thanks to certain people. I would like to thank my publisher, Joanna Cotler, who I think took a risk with me; and my editor, Heather, who told me there's a story in this poetry; Steve Scott, who did a great cover; and some of my teachers that convinced me I was a writer, even though I doubted it, Philip Levine, Peter Everwine, and my mentor, Arturo Islas. I always saw myself as a writer as a sow's ear, and I think my teachers just made me a better sow's ear. And I would like to thank the woman who has always been a rock, my wife, lover, Tina Alvarez, and of course my mother and father and all my brothers and sisters.

Thank you very much.