Last year, I handed Danez his Lammy finalist sticker at the LLF table in Minneapolis.

This year, I placed that sticker on my own book!

I know awards do not define greatness… but being recognized for something you work so hard at is simply beautiful.

Growing up in the South Bronx, I didn’t think that I could be a writer. There were no Santiago’s on the library shelves. Being recognized for my writing is really the best reminder-challenge that I cannot give up. Not for me, or any other little brown kids that need to read themselves in poetry.

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