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A Gathering of Book Readings & Music

From Heather D. Frankland, Kris Neri, and John Macker, with Music from MoonShine

To those who value the written word, it’s always exciting when a new book is born or when it’s introduced to new readers.

We’re ending the 2023 Southwest Word Fiesta with a special gathering of words and music. On Sunday, October 29, from 1:30 – 3:00 pm MDT, three authors will share readings from their books — two of the authors will read from newly-debuted books — and the group MoonShine will play for us. Venue: Miller Library; Seminar Room B.

The authors will include Heather D. Frankland, who will read from her new poetry chapbook, Midwest Musings. Midwest Musings is about the inspiration and the confusion of home, the roots that anchor, and the scattered thoughts on place and identity that escape definition. The poems in this chapbook find magic in the mundane, whether that be in recounting an old story or loving a creek or saving a luna moth. In the end, the poems come to a realization that no matter where you move, the regional roots of home run deep. They run so deep that they tangle in the soil of the self.

Elise Stuart, author of My Mother and I, We Talk Cat, and Poet Laureate Emerita of Silver City and Grant County, writes of Midwest Musings: “Frankland’s unique voice brings the ordinary alive. Her keen observations are revealing and honest.”

Originally from Muncie, Indiana, Heather Frankland currently lives in Silver City, NM, where she teaches at Western New Mexico University. She holds both a MPH and an MFA from New Mexico State University and a BA from Knox College. She served in the Peace Corps and Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Peru and Panama. Heather finds herself intrigued by landscapes and the role they can play in language, story, and poetry. She has been published in ROAR, Plane Tree Journal, Sin Fronteras Press, Sweet Lit, Slippery Elm Literary Journal, and others.

I will be the second presenting author. I will read from the latest adventure in my award-winning Samantha Brennan & Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mystery series, Magical Mushrooms. With the worldwide Great Disappearance, magic has come out of the closet. In the blink of an eye, iconic structures around the world have vanished. But the dynamic duo are on the case again: Special Agent Annabelle Haggerty, a genuine Celtic goddess hidden within the FBI, and her quirky sidekick, questionable psychic Samantha Brennan. Too bad neither of them are at their best. Annabelle struggles with an inexplicable dimming of her powers. For Samantha, things are the opposite. She now possesses genuine psychic gifts, only she can’t begin to control her new powers. When the world is struck by a new round of supernatural crimes, and Annabelle can no longer trust her divine gifts, saving the world could come down to Samantha. She pities a planet facing the unimaginable ruin she sees in her visions with only a good-time girl like her to save it

Marsheila Rockwell, award-winning author of The Shard Axe series, wrote of Magical Mushrooms: “Neri delivers another riotous adventure for fake psychic Samantha Brennan and goddess-slash-FBI agent Annabelle Haggerty. With a new mystery to investigate and Samantha’s freshly gained psychic powers manifesting just as Annabelle’s goddess powers seem to be dwindling, Samantha takes matters into her own hands, and the results are as comical as they are chaotic. Add in a unicorn, a hot troll, some leprechauns, and the last person in the world Samantha wants to see, and you get a delightful romp that fans of the Brennan & Haggerty Magical Mysteries will not want to miss!

My earlier Samantha Brennan & Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mystery novels, High Crimes on the Magical Plane and Magical Alienation were both Lefty Award finalists for Best Humorous Mystery Novel, and Magical Alienation was also a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award winner. I live in Silver City, with my musician husband Joe Neri and two pushy terriers.

Our third reader will be poet/playwright/essayist, John Macker. John will read from Atlas of Wolves and Belated Mornings.

Gerald Nicosia, author of Memory Babe: A Biography of Jack Kerouac, writes of John Macker’s writings: “What I like most about Poet John Macker’s writing is that he’s always pushing the limits of language…he’s always reaching for the meaning just beyond words. His subject is the American West, and he may be the best comprehensive thinker and creative artist we have dealing with that huge, still undigested slab of the American past and present.

Originally from Colorado, award-winning poet/playwright/essayist John Macker has lived in northern New Mexico for 28 years. He studied at the University of Missouri and Naropa Institute at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His publications include: Belated Mornings, Desert Threnody, Atlas of WolvesThe Blues Drink Your Dreams Away, Selected Poems 1983-2018, Chaco Sojourn (2021-22), Gorge Songs, Blood in the Mix, and others. He is a vice-president of the Frank Waters Foundation, Taos, NM. Teatro Paraguas Theatre Santa Fe produced his one-act play, “Coyote Acid” in 2022 and his trilogy of one-acts, “Black Range”, in 2023. He currently lives in Santa Fe with his wife, artist Annie and two mutt dogs.

Silver City’s musical group, MoonShine, will end the program by playing
“Love Letter #11” for Southwest Word Fiesta.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

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Kris Neri

Kris Neri's latest novel is HOPSCOTCH LIFE, an accept-yourself-in-all-your-glory women's fiction-crime crossover, featuring quirky protagonist Plum Tardy. HOPSCOTCH LIFE is a recent New Mexico-Arizona Book Award winner. Kris also writes the Tracy Eaton Mysteries, featuring the daughter of eccentric Hollywood stars: REVENGE OF THE GYPSY QUEEN, DEM BONES' REVENGE, REVENGE FOR OLD TIMES' SAKE and REVENGE ON ROUTE 66, as well as the Samantha Brennan and Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mysteries, featuring a questionable psychic who teams up with a modern goddess/FBI agent: HIGH CRIMES ON THE MAGICAL PLANE and MAGICAL ALIENATION. Her other books include her standalone thrillers, NEVER SAY DIE, DEVIL'S GAMBIT - DEVIL'S DUE, TRUST NO ONE, and two short story collections, THE ROSE IN THE SNOW and MADCAP MAYHEM: THE TRACY EATON MYSTERY SHORT STORIES. Kris has also appeared in a DVD offering writing instruction: WRITING KILLER MYSTERIES WITH KRIS NERI, produced by T2G Productions in Valencia, CA. Her novels have been honored by such prestigious awards as the: Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Lefty, and New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her novels have been honored with three Lefty Award nominations for humor. Three of her novels have been finalists for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and two of them have won it. Her most recent Tracy Eaton Mystery, REVENGE ON ROUTE 66, was a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award finalist, and her most recent Samantha Brennan and Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mystery, MAGICAL ALIENATION, won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Kris teaches writing online for the prestigious Writers' Program of the UCLA Extension School, and other organization. When she isn't writing, Kris loves reading, hiking, and cooking. She loves hearing from her readers through her website, She hails from Silver City, NM, where she lives with her husband and two pushy terriers.
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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.