Selected Awards and Honors
2006 — Cornelius P. Turner GED Award
2001 — The International Prize for A Place to Stand
2001 — Barnes and Noble Discover Author for A Place to Stand
1997 — Humanitarian Award, Albuquerque
1996, ’97 — Champion Poetry Bout, Taos, NM
1995 — The Endowed Hulbert Chair, Colorado College
1993 — Southwest Book Award
1990 — The International Hispanic Heritage Award
1990 — Berkeley Regents Chair, University of California, Berkeley
1989 — The Wallace Stevens Endowed Chair, Yale
1989 — The American Book Award for Poetry
1988 — The Pushcart Prize
1987 — The Vogelstein Foundation Award
1986 — National Endowments Arts Literary Fellowship
TV Appearances and Special Projects
National Public Radio, Good Morning America, National Discovery Channel, PBS Language of Life with Bill Moyers, CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood
Founded Black Mesa Enterprises, a grassroots entertainment cooperative that modeled constructive patterns of living to troubled and at-risk teenagers and focused on respect of self and others. Members abided by strict rules regarding responsible behavior and avoidance of drugs, alcohol and violence, while participating in the business by writing, performing and recording rap and poetry, designing and selling T-shirts, promoting literacy with free books.
Facilitated an intensive writing workshop for unemployed steelworkers in Chicago, and the compilation of In the Heat, an anthology of their poetry, which was published by Cedar Hill Publications to acclaim.
Provided free readings and workshops at countless elementary, junior high and high schools, colleges, universities, reservations, barrio community centers, white ghettos and housing projects from coast to coast. Tutored many kids in reading and writing, arranged readings for them at local bookstores, mentored and motivated children and young adults in writing, publishing and constructive living.