Borderland writer David Smith-Soto’s novel Havana Halleluja took first place in the Adventure / Drama category at the 2021 International Latino Book Awards this weekend.
Smith-Soto was professor of multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2004 until his retirement in 2016. He was editor-in-chief of Borderzine.com.
The International Latino Book Awards are the largest Latin literary recognition program in the United States. The presenters of the online awards ceremony on Sunday, October 17 included figures such as Isabel Allende and Edward James Olmos.
El Paso’s Cinco Puntos Press also received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In his foreword to Smith-Soto’s novel Havana Hallelujah, author Lex Williford calls the story “a complex and richly drawn portrayal of the peoples and landscapes of the Americas, of the lies and machinations of politicians and spies, dangerous jobs that journalists face. trying every day to separate the facts from the lies and the propaganda.
Prior to his teaching career, Smith-Soto was editor-in-chief of the Winchester Evening Star, editor-in-chief of El Nuevo Dia de San Juan, Puerto Rico, editor-in-chief for Latin America at the Miami Herald and editor-in-chief of ‘El Miami Herald. He joined the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC in 1985, as head of publications and associate assistant for public relations, retiring in 2000. Smith-Soto received a BA in English from the University of Maryland and an MFA in bilingual creation. written to UTEP.