The “book” festival friends didn’t want a book festival, although in conversation every one of us says “book” festival because “word” festival sounds kind of snooty. Some of us have visited the Tucson Book Festival, a major event in which major publishers and major authors take up major space. The Border Festival of Mesilla, however, inspired us to think about community. Border’s guest authors spend time visiting schools and rubbing elbows with local folks as well as reading on stage. Denise Chavez, the mainspring of the Border Festival, keeps the emphasis on all the borders that great literature crosses. We want to do the same, and by stressing the power of words–spoken or read, on paper or in performance — we hope to make Silver City’s festival a unique addition to what has become an industrial cliche in other places.

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