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Border Book Festival

2231 A Calle de Parian

History and Scope :
The Border Book Festival, Inc., (BBF) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1995 by a group of writers, artists and community people committed to celebrating literature and the art of story in the southern United States-Northern México border region. We began as the Border Book Festival, what we imagined then would be a one-day book fair. Since then we have grown into a major literary festival, founder of The Cultural Center de Mesilla. We believe that literature and the arts can bridge the many boundaries--racial, ethnic, generational, cultural, socio-economic, and gender-based--that divide our community. Ours is a grass roots organization that impacts its community by offering programs that are blueprints of positive communication, interaction and connection between people in our borderland region.

The Border Book Festival is a catalyst between many different groups and organizations including city, state and governmental agencies, schools, businesses and community centers. We are a bridge builder and model for positive exchange between diverse people in the borderland region including cities and towns in West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Northern México.

Our annual book festival takes place the second to the last weekend in April each year and features many activities for audiences of all ages including: Libras Y Mass/Books And More, a Trade Show featuring national, regional and local presses, writers, and vendors, a series of readings, workshops and panels, a school outreach program, as well as family storytelling events throughout the festival weekend.

El Premio Fronterizo honors a major American writer for their life long contribution to literature that transcends borders, real and imagined, and whose body of work has done much to add to the southwestern literary canon. Past winners of the Premix Fraternize have included: Rodolfo Anaya, Sabine Ulibarrí, Tony Hillerman, Byrd Baylor, Leslie Marmon Silko, Barbara Kingsolver, Gary Soto, Sandra Cisneros, Luis Rodríguez, N. Scott Momaday, Luis Urrea, Ofelia Zepeda and Joy Harjo. The winner of the 2007 Premio Fronterizo is Martín Espada, author of The Republic of Poetry.

In addition, we present the Sunshine Community Service Award to a local business, organization or person who works to promote literature and the art of story at a grass roots level as well as the Cauthon Volunteer Service award to hardworking festival volunteers. Winners of the 2007 Sunshine Community Service Award are The Ranchway BBQ and Mexican Restaurant, run by owners Jesús “Chuy” and Elsa Rodríguez and Roberto Estrada, owner of Roberto’s. Winner of the Cauthon volunteer award is festival photographer, Daniel Zolinsky.

The BBF has had considerable impact in the Southern New Mexico border corridor as well as throughout the region. We have been touted in the New York Times as a "place where books matter," and featured in Publisher's Weekly as one of the top regional book festivals in the U.S.