by Paula Lozar
The New Mexico Book Association held their annual meeting and Summer Gala on August 23 at the Clubhouse at Las Campanas. We were fortunate to have a beautiful clear evening to better appreciate the lovely surroundings. (Thanks to Shirley Melis for arranging the venue!) After gathering for “heavy hors d’oeuvres,” drinks, and conversation, the attendees heard a brief presentation from President Jordan Jones about NMBA’s history and mission, as well as our plans for upcoming workshops and book selling opportunities.
The Book in Hand Honors were presented to three recipients: Carly Newfeld for her podcast “The Last Word: A Place for Writers” on KSFR 101.1 FM; and Sandi Wright and Jared Gann for managing the Southwest Book Design and Production Awards (SWBDA) for three years after Jim Mafchir’s retirement.
Paula Lozar read a brief memorial to Jim Mafchir, who passed away in November 2021. Jim was a
founding member of NMBA from its earliest beginnings in 1994, served as President for multiple terms, and established and ran the SWBDA awards program for seven years.
Jordan then presented this year’s SWBDA awards:
WINNER, Trade Book, non-illustrated:
Stargazer: A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel by Anne Hillerman (HarperCollins Publishers; Jarrod Taylor, designer; Sarah Stein, editor).
FINALIST, Trade Books Non-Illustrated:
Little Hours: A Novel by Lil Copan
WINNER, Trade Book, illustrated:
The Nature of Lake Tahoe: A Photographic History, 1860–1960, by Peter Goin (University of New Mexico Press; Felicia Cedillos, designer; Elise McHugh, editor).
FINALIST, Trade Books Illustrated:
Mud, Space and Spirit: Handmade Adobes by Alan MacRae and Virginia Gray
WINNERS, Art and Photography:
Maya Ruins Revisited: In the Footsteps of Teobert Maler, by William Frej (Peyton Wright Gallery Press; William Frej, photographer; David Skolkin, designer; Elizabeth C. Hadas, editor).
Fire Ghosts by Philip Metcalf and Patricia Galagan (George F. Thompson publishing; Philip Metcalf and Patricia Galagan, photographers; David Skolkin, designer; Joanna Hurley, editor).
FINALISTS, Art and Photography:
Seasons of Ceremony: Rites and Rituals in Guatemala and Mexico by William Frej
Fragments of Spirit: 60 Years: A Photographer's Recollections of Taos Pueblo, the Region and its Arts by Sara Frances (Photo Mirage Books)
Hiking Trails in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, by Coco Rae (University of New Mexico Press; Felicia Cedillos, designer; Stephen Hull, editor).
The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook: The Soul of Mexican Home Cooking, by Dave DeWitt and José C. Marmolejo (University of New Mexico Press; Mindy Basinger Hill, designer; Stephen Hull, editor).
Walking Uphill at Noon: Poems by Jon Kelly Yenser (University of New Mexico Press; Mindy Basinger Hill, designer; Elsie McHugh, editor)
Albuquerque Gerdy by Sandi Wright (Art Academy de los Niños; Jared Gann, designer; Paula Lozar, editor).
Playful Prairie Dogs by Neecy Twinem (Roman & Littlefield/Muddy Boots; Neecy Twinem, designer).
WINNER, Body, Mind, Spirit:
Whispers in Sound: A Profound Healing Journey through Sacred Vibrations and Meditations by Laura Penn Gallerstein (Sedona Sacred Sounds Press; Diane Rigoli, cover design; Janise Witt, cover photography; Arlene Matthews and Jeff Braucher, editors).
Ashes to Ink: A Memoir by Lisa Lucca (JuJu House Publishing; Lisa Lucca, cover design; John Edgar Harris, interior design; Magdalena Bartkowska, copy editor).
What Cannot Be Undone: True Stories of a Life in Medicine by Walter M. Robinson (University of New Mexico Press; Mindy Basinger Hill, designer; Elise McHugh, editor).
See all winners here.
During the time that Jim Mafchir ran the program, one of the awards we presented was always “Jim’s Choice.” We have continued this tradition by renaming the top award each year as the “Jim Mafchir Best in Show Award.”
The Jim Mafchir Best-in-Show award went to two titles:
The election of board members was conducted by paper ballots distributed to all the members in
attendance. All current board members were re-elected.
The board met after the party to vote on officers for the coming year. Jordan Jones announced that work
pressures prevent him from serving another term as President, but he is willing to stay on the board and
run the SWBDA awards program; we are grateful to him for his leadership and support for the past two
years of unprecedented difficulty. Vice President Miguel de la Cruz will serve as co-President for the
coming term. Jordan will remain as co-President through the end of 2022, after which Shirley
Melis will replace him as Miguel’s co-President. Anna Sochocky will serve as Vice President, in charge
of programs and outreach. Secretary Connie Nelson and Treasurer Paula Lozar will remain in their
Our gala was featured on The New Mexican, you can read it here.
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