University of New Mexico Press

New Book :: Girl Flees Circus

Girl Flees Circus a novel by C W Smith published by University of New Mexico Press book cover image

Girl Flees Circus
Fiction by C. W. Smith
University of New Mexico Press, September 2022

Girl Flees Circus, the newest release by C. W. Smith, follows nineteen-year-old aviatrix Katie Burke after she crash lands her biplane on the only street in No Name, New Mexico. Her arrival changes her life and the lives of everyone around her. As Katie and her craft need repair, locals take her in and help her, including a schoolteacher who longs for Katie’s friendship, an interracial couple who own the town’s diner, a handsome young mechanic who lives in a teepee, and a shell-shocked veteran of World War I. As her story unfolds, Katie’s mysteries deepen—revealing shocking secrets, a scandalous past, and a future in true peril. Girl Flees Circus takes flight the moment Katie crashes to earth, promising a journey into the lives of a glamorous, redheaded stranger and the people she will change forever.

New Book :: Good Naked

Good Naked by Joni B Cole published by University of New Mexico Press book cover image

Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier
Revised and Expanded Edition by Joni B. Cole
University of New Mexico Press, September 2022

In this revised and updated edition of Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier, once again, Joni B. Cole’s humor and wisdom shine through as she debunks long-held misconceptions of how we’re supposed to write, replacing them with advice that works. Feeling overwhelmed? Having trouble getting started or staying motivated? In this edition, Cole offers more stories, strategies, tips on craft, and exercises to serve new and seasoned writers from the first draft to the final edit. Writers will even find help making peace with rejection. Admirers as well as newcomers to Cole’s work appreciate her uniquely cheerful approach, time tested to foster creativity and productivity. Keeping this generous and essential guide close by will provide a jump start to inspiration and a daily reminder of the meaning, humor, and happiness that can be discovered in your own writing life.

New Book :: The Empty Bowl

The Empty Bowl: Poems of the Holocaust and After by Judith H Sherman published by University of Mexico Press book cover image

The Empty Bowl: Poems of the Holocaust and After
Poetry by Judith Sherman
University of New Mexico Press, September 2022

In The Empty Bowl: Poems of the Holocaust and After, Holocaust survivor Judith H. Sherman strives to record trauma through art. Her poems, written largely in the words of a fifteen-year-old survivor, provide historical entry into the Holocaust. Put simply, the poems explore the reality of the events experienced by Sherman in her determination to survive—from first leaving home to illegal border crossings, hiding, capture, imprisonment by the Gestapo, the horrors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, liberation, and, finally, a full life of joys and challenges that came after, including the unyielding intrusions of the past and hopeful celebration of a compassionate future. Forward by Arthur Kleinman. Afterword by Ilana Gelb.

New Book :: Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly

Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly a memoir by Dana Tai Soon Burgess published by University of New Mexico Press book cover image

Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly
Memoir by Dana Tai Soon Burgess
University of New Mexico Press, September 2022

Renowned Korean American modern-dance choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess shares his deeply personal hyphenated world and how his multifaceted background drives his prolific art-making in Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly. The memoir traces how his choreographic aesthetic, based on the fluency of dance and the visual arts, was informed by his early years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This insightful journey delves into an artist’s process that is inspired by the intersection of varying cultural perspectives, stories, and experiences. Candid and intelligent, Burgess gives readers the opportunity to experience up close the passion for art and dance that has informed his life.

New Book :: Reflections Through the Convex Mirror of Time

Reflections Through the Convex Mirror of Time by EA Mares book cover image

Reflections Through the Convex Mirror of Time
Poems in Remembrance of the Spanish Civil War
By E.A. Mares
University of New Mexico Press, August 2022

In this poignant bilingual collection, preeminent New Mexican poet E. A. “Tony” Mares posthumously shares his passionate journey into the broken heart and glimmering shadows of the Spanish Civil War, whose shock waves still resonate with the political upheavals of our own times. Mares engages in dialogue with heroes and demons, anarchists and cardinals, and beggars and poets. He takes us through the convex mirror of history to the blood-stained streets of Madrid, Guernica, and Barcelona. He interrogates the assassins of Federico García Lorca for their crimes against poetry and humanity. Throughout the collection, the narrator is participant and commentator, and his language is both lyrical and direct. In addition to Mares’s parallel Spanish and English poems, the book includes a prologue by Enrique Lamadrid, an introduction by Fernando Martín Pescador, and an epilogue by Susana Rivera.

New Book :: The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds

The Gospel of Wildflowers and Weeds by Orlando Ricardo Menes book cover image

The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds
Poetry by Orlando Ricardo Menes
University of New Mexico Press, August 2022

The poems in The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds expand the sacred within a baroque, magical-realist poetics that immerses itself in the flora and fauna of the Caribbean and the region’s complex interplay of African, Judeo-Christian, and Taíno (Arawak) cultures. Menes engages with the Catholic sacraments, saints’ lives, and the artistic heritage of this universal faith as well as Cuban art through the use of a variety of poetic styles across the collection. An established poet, he pays homage to those writers who have made him the Caribbean poet that he is, specifically Alejo Carpentier, José Lezama Lima, and even Hart Crane. Readers will want to join Menes on this journey as he travels the globe to explore the fantastic and the marvelous while searching for faith and divine grace.

Book Review :: What Cannot Be Undone by Walter M. Robinson

What Cannot Be Undone by Walter  M Robinson

Guest Post by Kevin Brown

In his collection of essays, What Cannot Be Undone: True Stories of a Life in Medicine, Walter M. Robinson warns readers in his introduction that this book is not full of success stories or happy endings. His book is not for those who want to see people perform miraculous (or even ordinary) recoveries. Instead, he writes honestly about those patients who suffer and, quite often, die. Robinson is a pediatrician who specializes in lung transplants (many related to cystic fibrosis), so a number of the patients he writes about are children or young adults, making the book an especially challenging read for some. However, the book explores important ideas about healthcare, ethics, life, and death, no matter how harrowing the stories he relates. He also includes moments of grace and humor, as those continue to occur even in the midst of death and everything that leads to it. Robinson is willing to share his doubts and fears openly and honestly, which makes him not only a narrator readers can trust, but a doctor one would wish to have by their bedside during those times of loss. He is a doctor who gives the bad news straight, which should only serve as a reminder to celebrate the better moments while they last.


What Cannot Be Undone: True Stories of a Life in Medicine by Walter M. Robinson. University of New Mexico Press, February 2022.

Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.

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New Book :: I Got Mine

I Got Mine memoir by John Nichols book cover image

I Got Mine: Confessions of a Midlist Writer
Memoir by John Nichols
University of New Mexico Press, June 2022

I Got Mine: Confessions of a Midlist Writer is the memoir of John Nichols as seen through the lens of his writing. Everything that went into making him a writer and eventually found an outlet in his work—his education, family, wives, children, friends, enemies, politics, and place—is told from the point of view of his daily practice of writing. Beginning with his first novel, The Sterile Cuckoo, published in 1965 when he was just twenty-four, Nichols shares his highs and lows: his ambivalent relationship with money; his growing disenchantment with the hypocrisy of capitalism; and his love-hate relationship with Hollywood—including the years-long struggle of working with director Robert Redford on the film version of The Milagro Beanfield War, which was filmed around Truchas and featured many of Nichols’ northern New Mexico neighbors. I Got Mine captures Nichols’ lifelong engagement with progressive political causes, his passionate interest in and identification with ordinary people, and his deep connection to the land.

New Book :: Walking Uphill at Noon

Walking Uphill at Noon poetry by Jon Kelly Yenser book cover image

Walking Uphill at Noon
Poetry by Jon Kelly Yenser
University of New Mexico Press, March 2022

Walking Uphill at Noon showcases Yenser’s mastery of prosody and love of play. Including free verse as well as established and newly invented forms, Yenser’s collection is organized into four parts that each explore the author’s life and interests: part 1 focuses on neighborhood observations; part 2 delves into travel at home and abroad; part 3 consists of a “walking log” that muses on current events; and part 4 explores magic, mysteries, and sleights of hand. Ultimately, Yenser urges readers to consider that everyday situations can be made extraordinary if they keep their love of play and wonder close to their hearts. Jon Kelly Yenser is also the author of two chapbooks, Walter’s Yard and The Disambiguation of Katydids, and the poetry collection The News as Usual: Poems (UNM Press).

New Book :: The Loneliest Girl

book cover art

The Loneliest Girl
Poetry by Kate Gale
University of New Mexico Press, February 2022
ISBN: 978-0-8263-6369-5
Paperback, 88pp; $18.95

Who was more alone than Medusa? Raped in Athena’s temple, transformed into a monster, and banished into a cave, Medusa may be the ultimate example of victim blaming. In The Loneliest Girl, Kate Gale creates a powerful alternative narrative for Medusa and for all women who have carried guilt and shame—for being a woman, for not being enough, for being a victim. She offers a narrative in which women are the makers of the world—in which women find their way out from the cave of the Cisthene and into a world where they determine their own destiny.