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Over the three days of the final weekend in September, the Southwest Festival of the Written Word, in downtown Silver City NM, will celebrate the Textures Y Sabores created in and by the works of more than 50 writers who live and write in the American Southwest.

Mark Lee Gardner and M.H. Dutch Salmon are two such individuals. Both are well-known, multi-faceted authors of southwestern history and non-fiction who will participate in separate Festival events on Sept 27, 2013– Gardner on the panel, “Making history: The art of historical writing”; Salmon on the panel “Books, Nooks, and Hooks: How the publishing industry is changing”.

Mark Lee Gardner’s newest book, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape, was released in July 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers and is a Main Selection of the History Book Club and a Featured Alternate Selection of the Military Book Club, Book-of-the-Month Club, Quality Paperback Book Club, and BOMC2. Kirkus Reviews wrote, Shot All to Hell is “…Action packed…a colorful portrait…A gripping read and probably tells all there is to tell about a legendary group of psychopaths.”

Of Gardner’s To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West, said

“…Never has a tour of hell been so much fun.”

Mark has appeared on the History Channel, PBS American Experience, ABC World News, Encore Westerns Channel, NPR, and BBC Radio.

In addition to his research and writing, Gardner is an award-winning performer of the music of the 19th- and early 20th-century American West. He has entertained audiences with his historic music at numerous venues, from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, to the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He and his friend and fellow music historian Rex Rideout of Conifer, Colorado were recognized by True West Magazine as the “Best Musical Tour of the West of 2009.

Mark Lee Gardner is one of the twelve Festival presenters named as a “New Mexico Humanities Scholar” by the New Mexico Humanities Council.  He will provide the musical entertainment at the Festival Banquet on Saturday, September 28. Visit his website at for information on his books and music.


M.H. Dutch Salmon is an award-winning author and the founder of High Lonesome Books Publishing in Silver City, which currently has 25 books in print.

Dutch moved to Grant County in the ’80s because he found its eclectic demographics and natural environment great sources of inspiration for his writing. His most recent book, Gila Libre: The Story of New Mexico’s Last Wild River reveals the splendor of the Gila River, a unique Southwest resource, and speculates on its future, which includes the threatening proposal of a major state and federal water project.

As the result of his passion for and contribution to the conservation of New Mexico’s natural environments, especially the Gila River, Dutch was awarded a Lifetime Conservation Award at the Gila Natural History Symposium in 2008 and in 2009, a Lifetime Conservation Award from the Gila Conservation Coalition.

Salmon’s outdoors column, “Country Sports,” received the “Best Column” award from the New Mexico Press Association, the New Mexico Press Women’s Association, and the New Mexico Associated Press.

In 2006, Salmon wrote and published Gila Descending, A Southwestern Journey, in which he reflects on his 200-mile wilderness journey down the Gila River of New Mexico and Arizona, accompanied by his hound dog and a tom cat. The book has become a classic read for all newcomers to the land of the Gila.

Salmon is also the author of two novels–Signal to Depart, the story of a lover of rare books & ancient art, caught between a lost culture & a modern time, who believes he can turn progress on its head; and Home is the River, the tale of a modern day mountain man and houndman who is drawn into an illicit plot to stop an unsavory dam scheduled for the last wild river in New Mexico.  To find more information about Dutch’s books and the others published by his company, visit

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.