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A poet started talk of a celebration of words. We need a festival where poets can read and others can listen, she said. And she was right. Silver City, New Mexico, about an hour and a half from Mexico, about three hours from Tucson, in the shadow of the Gila Wilderness, should pay more attention to words. Silver City, when the wind is not blowing, likes silence.

We have art galleries, peaceful places that you love to enter to feel the color and light washing about. We have trails that take you to overlooks where sky and mountain meet and you turn from left to right to take in the vista. And vistas are silent.

But poets and prose writers deserved some moments when words are stirring. The poet recognized that need and gathered her friends. As such things go in Silver City, where orbits cross and dissimilars clump, lovers of words from Western New Mexico University, from the public library, from the town museum, from the lifelong learning program talked and talked and talked.


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

Enriching Life Through Learning in Community

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.