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Deadline extended for border testimonials


A group including best-selling author and activist Denise Chávez is collecting testimonials for its “We Are Here to Represent: Testimonios from the Border” anthology, and has extended its deadline for submissions to Monday, Feb. 15.

“This anthology will tell the stories of our work with refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking families,” Chávez said in a news release.

Anthology editors Dr. Enrique Lamadrid and Kari Lenander, along with Chávez, “share our wonder at the breadth, magnitude, depth, talent and loving wisdom of the stories, the poetry, the artwork, the photographs, the quotes and the images that have already burned into our hearts,” Chávez said. “Whether it is a submission from a 13-year-old girl sharing playtime with a Guatemalan child, or a woman making baloney sandwiches for a refugee family for their three-day bus trip across the United States to their sponsor family; whether it is photograph of an abandoned toy or toothbrush, or a picture of The Wall looming in the background, our anthology is taking flight,” the release said.

“Thank you to all who have submitted their work in English, Spanish, Spanglish and Portuguese,” Chávez said. “We now need stories in French and in the Indigenous languages that are spoken by our refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. We await your word, your images, the open heart of your spirit. Send submissions to comezon09@comcast.net.”

Chávez said the editors will respond by April 30 to those who make submissions.

“Once the selection process is made, you will have a chance to rework, revise and clarify your vision with the editors,” Chávez said. “Is it important to us that you have a chance to do your best work and that we work as a collaborative team in this process.”

The anthology is expected to be published this summer.

Chávez is the owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore and Art Gallery, 314 S. Tornillo St., and the author of “A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture,” “The Last of the Menu Girls,” “Face of An Angel,” “Loving Pedro Infante,” and “The King and Queen of Comezón,” among other books.

Chávez has won the American Book Award, the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize, the Mesilla Valley Author of the Year Award and the 2003 Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature. The City of Las Cruces proclaimed Nov. 21, 2017 as Denise Chávez Day in Las Cruces. She created the Border Book Festival, which ran annually for more than 25 years.

Contact Chávez at comezon09@comcast.net.