Tina Escaja, professor of Spanish and director of the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies program at UVM, has won the Campoy-Ada Award for Children’s and Young People’s Literature for her book La odisea Marina de María Traviesa. The award was presented by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE) on Feb. 25th at the National Latini Children’s Literature Conference in San Antonio, Tex.
The Spanish-language book published by BrookTree Media was written by Escaja and illustrated by M.J. Tobal. Escaja describes the book as an “illustrated poem,” which won in the category of Juvenile Poetry. The Campoy-Ada Award recognizes the merit of works of children's literature written in Spanish by citizens or residents of the United States. The award is named to honor two authors, F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, both of whom dedicated their careers to advancing the Spanish language in U.S.
The book tells the story of a mischievous girl named María Traviesa who lives in a raspberry cloud with the flavor of jam, and she doesn’t want to share it. Her odyssey leads her to discover an entire universe of wonderful creatures that helps her learn about the rewards of generosity.
La odisea Marina de María Traviesa is the latest of twenty books published by Escaja as a scholar and author of fiction, drama and poetry. Many of her works transcend the book format and involve multimedia, incorporating video, interactive technology, jazz, augmented reality and more recently, robotics. Her last collection of poems, Manual Destructivista/Destructivist Manual, was selected among top ten bilingual readings by the Latino Poetry Review in April 2017. Among other recognitions and awards, she received in 2003 the International Poetry Prize "Dulce María Loynaz" for her manuscript Caída Libre, published in 2004. Escaja’s poems and digital work have appeared in numerous collections and art galleries, and have been translated into six languages. She is vice-president of Red Poppy, a non-profit dedicated to promoting Latin American poetry in the United States, and president of Feministas Unidas, a coalition of feminist scholars in Spanish, Spanish-American, Luso-Brazilian, Afro-Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic and Latinx Studies. A selection from literary and digital projects can be found at www.tinaescaja.com