2015 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas Foco Award for Poetry
IBPA 2015 Benjamin Franklin Poetry Award, Silver Winner
2015 Texas Institute of Letters, Bob Bush Memorial Award for First Book of Poetry, 2nd Place
Red Leather Gloves takes us from the mean streets of Houston's barrios and dockside boxing stables into a dilapidated boxing arena deceptively named the Olympiad where men and boys reenact an ancient rite of passage in desperate pursuit of Olympic fame, title belts, and riches that will elude them all. Olguín writes within the visceral realism of Philip Levine and the boxing authenticity of F. X. Toole: he zeros in on these working class denizens as they train in the art of the not so sweet science of beating bodies into submission. An amateur boxer in his youth, Olguín dissects the sport with the skill of a cut-man, and his poems burst with the pain and physical toll the sport exacts.