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Claussen Releases New Novel

Award-winning Grant County author Catalina Claussen announces the release of her third young adult novel Holding on to Hope with Progressive Rising Phoenix Press. The Southwest Word Fiesta will hold a virtual reading with Claussen on Tuesday, March 30, 6:00-7:00pm. No registration is required. The free event will be at . The evening will feature special guest Xochitl Hernandez Moctezuma, whose story inspired Holding on to Hope.

The church doors swing wide just as the padre is giving his blessing. Analicia Rosario Menéndez is fifteen when her brother, Junior, is arrested in the middle of her quinceañera. Soon after, her Spanish teacher Ms. García disappears, leaving behind her five-year-old son. During a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ana’s father, Dr. Menéndez, is detained. 

Paralyzed against government forces as her world falls apart, Ana is tired of feeling powerless. Living in a small town along the southern border of New Mexico, someone has to know something, don’t they? Ana, desperate to find the truth, reaches out to those around her. Will her friends, Rose and Imani, help, or will they turn their backs?

This book explores the complex realities facing families and community members living under constant deportation threats.

Catalina Claussen

Catalina Claussen is a southwestern storyteller, young adult novelist, and poet whose works include young adult novels Diamonds at Dusk (2016), Diamonds at Dawn (2018), Holding on to Hope (2020), and the humorous short story collection Being Home: A Southwestern Almanac (2020). Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and now a long-time resident of the Mimbres Valley, Claussen has gained a deep appreciation of the people and the land. Her work has been recognized by the Arizona-New Mexico Book Awards, Wishing Shelf Book Awards (in the UK), and the New Apple Book Awards for Independent Publishing.

A podcast interview with Catalina with KSJE, Farmington, NM, is available at Visit Catalina on the web at Follow Catalina on Instagram @catalinaclaussen or on Facebook.

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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We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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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.