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‘Celebrate Authors’ add three more writers to Sept. 19 lineup


“Celebrate Authors” will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, in the boardroom and Roadrunner Room on the second floor of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave.

The event is free and open to the public.

Moonbow Alterations and Moonbow’s Book Nook are the event sponsors.

Celebrate Authors 2021 will feature 40 authors from Las Cruces and surrounding area with books published in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The event began in 2014.

Here are three additions to the list of participating authors.

Lisa Lucca’s work has been published in several anthologies, most recently in “Crone Rising.”

“I am the co-author of an epistolary (in the form of letters) memoir, ‘You Are Loved,’ with my partner, Mark Mathias,” Lucca said. “My upcoming memoir, ‘Ashes to Ink,’ shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are, and the power of family acceptance. It will be released in October 2021.

“I am a #BlogHer Voice of the Year honoree and a quarterfinalist in Roadmap Authors 2020 Manuscript Competition,” Lucca said. “My weekly public radio show, Live True, airs on KTAL-LP 101.5 FM in Las Cruces and streams globally, bringing insight and engaging interviews to our listeners.

“Most of my life, my world has been drenched in the beauty of language,” Lucca said. “It has long been my desire to share my truth as I know it, connecting with others so they may feel something that brings them comfort, or understanding, or annoys them enough to look into their hearts and ask why. For all art is merely self-expression that evokes emotion.

“As a life coach for nearly 20 years, I hope to inspire others to use their gifts in the world to create something meaningful,” she said. “As writers, we have an opportunity to heal a wound, start a conversation, educate, and entertain. All we have to do is sit still long enough to let the words out.”

Carlos Melendrez’s new book “I Know Where the Bodies Are Buried: There Are Stories to Tell, Questions to Answer,” “begins when this area was under Mexican governance and the family oversaw the Mexican colony known as the Doña Ana Bend Colony,” he said. “The founding family governance of this area started under Mexican rule, held firm during the Mexican vs. American War and continued long after, during American rule.”

He has a long history and background as an activist, which started as director of the Boycott Bank of America movement. He also served as executive director of EDGE, an alliance of civil rights and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Earth Island Institute, Latino Issues Forum, Japanese American Civil Rights League and Urban Habitat.

Melendrez said his advice to would-be authors is, “the same message given to me by my high school history teacher, John Wooden: ‘Illigitmus non carburundum,’ loosely translated as ‘don’t let the bastards grind you down.’”

Jesús Barquet’s books on literary criticism are “Consagración de La Habana,” which won the Letras de Oro Prize in 1991; “Escrituras poéticas de una nación,” which won the Lourdes Casal Prize in 1998; and “Ediciones El Puente en La Habana de los años 60.”

Among his books of poetry are: “Un no rompido sueño,” which won second prize in the Chicano-Latino Poetry Contest of 1994; “Aguja de diversos, Venturous Journeys / Los viajes venturosos”; and the compilation “Cuerpos del delirio.”

Part of the Mariel Cuban exodus of 1980, Barquet is a New Mexico State University professor emeritus and founder and director of Ediciones La Mirada, a Las Cruces-based editorial house founded in 2014.

During Celebrate Authors, Barquet will discuss “Manifiesto inacabado de la hegemonía, nomenclatura y nomenklatura cultural de nuevo cuño y coña,” a manifesto discovered in 2020 that describes the operation of a supposed chain of cultural supermarkets called “Gramsci” within the western world of the 21st century, as well as the behavior of its clients, Barquet said.

He also will discuss Ediciones La Mirada, which has published 13 books of poetry in Spanish by Hispanic writers from the U.S., Cuba, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica. Two of its most popular books, Barquet said, are “Imposeída” (the first compilation and Spanish translation of Mercedes de Acosta’s poetry) and “Todo parecía” (the first anthology of LGBTQ topics in contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American poetry). In 2020, with “De cierta arena” by Las Cruces poet Maricela Duarte-Stern, La Mirada started the “Colección Nuevas Voces (New Voices Collection),” dedicated to the first volume of poetry by Hispanic poets.

“Spanish poetry in particular is a highly regarded and centuries-long literary tradition that deserves to be carefully preserved and continued,” Barquet said.

The Friends of Branigan Library started Celebrate Authors in 2014. The event was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic.

For more information, contact Alice Davenport at 575-527-1411 and adavenport@totacc.com or Joy Miller at joyemmamiller@gmail.com, or visit her at Moonbow’s Book Nook, 225 E. Idaho Ave., No. 32.