Ricardo Ruiz's (BA, English Creative Writing 2021) first book of poetry, We Had Our Reasons: Poems by Ricardo Ruiz and other hard-working Mexicans from Eastern Washington (Pulley Press), has won the Washington State Book Award for poetry. The Washington State Book Awards honor works of outstanding literary merit by Washington authors.
We Had Our Reasons is a collection of poems created by Ricardo Ruiz in collaboration with other members of his Mexican farm community in Eastern Washington. The poems, vivid and pointed, guide the reader through the thoughts and struggles that come with the decision to leave one’s home in Mexico, and travel to this remote, rural community of the United States. Through the book, access is provided to readers; stories that have gone untold for generations are now shared, evoking conversation at home and within the community due to the commonality of experiences.
The collection has UW origins. Teaching Professor Frances McCue of the English Department is the founder of Pulley Press, a new poetry publisher that celebrates poets from rural parts of the country. In the winter of 2021, she worked with a group of undergraduate interns on the project and among them was Ricardo Ruiz.