Professor pens book to honor all 12 months

L. Luis Lopez is a award-winning poet

Mesa State College Professor L. Luis Lopez has been notified that he has won the American Book Awards/Before Columbus Foundation’s award for his book of poetry, “Each Month I Sing.” It took seven years for Dr. Lopez to write the book, which was published three weeks ago.

Luis Lopez still thinks it might be a joke.

The 70-year-old classics professor at Mesa State College published his book of poems,

“Each Month I Sing,” just three weeks ago. When he received a phone call from a representative of the Before Columbus Foundation saying his book was a recipient for this year’s American Book Award, he was a little surprised.

“This award is given by writers themselves,” Lopez said. “I didn’t even think they had a copy of the book.”

Lopez said his book is “divided like a calendar” with 12 poems for each month of the year.

Then each month has a poem in tribute to its name, gem, flower, zodiac sign and a famous painter and writer associated with the month. The other six poems, Lopez said, are about experiences he has had in those given months.

“A book like this doesn’t exist in poetry,” Lopez said.

The book took Lopez seven years to complete and required a significant amount of research into each month’s background, he said.

Lopez employed a wide range of poetry styles in the book, including free verse, sonnet and limerick.

“The poems deal with politics, art and humor,” he said. “I even have a baseball poem in there.”

The American Book Award was established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation and is given to 10 to 15 authors each year. There is no nomination process or selection criteria, according to the award Web site, but it’s simply a “writer’s award given by other writers.”

Lopez said he received the phone call informing him of his award and is awaiting the confirmation letter.

“Each Month I Sing” is not Lopez’s first poetry book. He also penned “Musings of a Barrio Sack Boy” and “A Painting of Sand.”

“Poetry fits my personality,” he said. “It’s my way of expressing myself.”
Lopez said his next project, however, will be to write a book of 10-minute plays.

“I love it. Ten-minute plays don’t waste time,” he said. “It’s like poetry. You have to get right to the point.”


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