WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement commending New Mexico author Rudolfo Anaya for being awarded the National Humanities Medal. President Obama and the First Lady will award the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room of the White House today:
“Rudolfo Anaya’s stories touch the soul of New Mexico and reveal the deep cultural roots of our beautiful state. Generations of New Mexicans have learned about their culture by reading his classic novel Bless Me, Ultima.
“Anaya’s legacy will not only be in the inspirational words he wrote about New Mexico’s communities and traditions. His years of teaching in Albuquerque Public Schools and at the University of New Mexico will also continue to have a positive impact on the state for years to come. One example of this is Gabriela Moreno, an intern in my office this fall, who received the first Rudolfo Anaya Albuquerque High Alumni Association Scholarship and is already serving our state well as a junior at UNM.
“This national recognition of his literary contributions is well deserved. Every New Mexican who he has inspired to take pride in their identity will join me in commending and thanking Rudolfo Anaya for his years of service to our state.”
Anaya is one of 12 recipients of the National Humanities Medal. He has previously been awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2003. In 2008, Bless Me, Ultima was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of 12 classic American novels.