Monday, July 26, 2010


[Note: Oy. I wrote this and forgot to post it. It was scheduled for June 2. We put an album of photographs on our FACEBOOK page, so this entry slipped through the crack. The BIG crack. My gosh. But there's some good stuff here. Better late than never. All those old cliches.--Bobby]

We’re back home from the 2010 Book Exposition of America, and we did ourselves proud. This year’s BEA was held at the Javits Center in New York City. As has become our good habit, we share a booth with our friends at Akashic Books. We got good geography--our home base is the aisle of Consortium Book Sales and Distribution with its group of avant publishers steering the world toward a better place. Nobody talks about "product" on this aisle. It's all about books and ideas and culture and progressive politics and art. It's a good and fun place to hang out. There's always folks coming by. And besides, we share a booth with Akashic Books. If there's a slow time, which there's usually not until the last day, we get to talk and laugh with the Akashic folks--Johnny Temple, Ibrahim Ahmad and this year Ben Fama. (We do miss the wild and energetic presence of Johanna Ingalls who now does most of her Akashic duties via skype and email from here residence in Ireland.)

On Wednesday we had an afternoon party celebrating 25 years of Cinco Puntos Press books. CFO and Sales Director Johnny Byrd was the official host. In that august capacity--and in the tradition of true independent publishing--he smuggled in two cases of Tecate can of beer in his suitcase. (Finding Tecate in cans in New York City is a difficult task. Best place to go is Spanish Harlem. The place we found is a few doors west of 116th & Park.) The day of the party he smuggled in three sacks of ice in his backpack and his suitcase, with doubled garbage bags, became our cooler. John had brought cookies from Gussie’s on Piedras Street in El Paso. Writer and folklorist Cynthia Weill was there signing books from her series First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art (see Opuestos here and Abecedarios here . Her new book in the series, Colores de la Vida, will be released in the fall of this year. Artist Christopher Cardinale was there to sign copies of his and Luis Alberto Urrea’s new graphic novel Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush.  It was a great party. Lots of people and laughter and book talk and memories. The beer, which was ice cold, and the cookies, which were still fresh and crispy, were all gone in an hour. It was a great party. And the end of a very long day standing on the concrete floors of the Javits Center. Not to worry. We were having dinner with Dana Goldberg, Senior Editor of Children’s Book Press, and Janet del Mundo, Sales and Marketing Director of CBP. Dana, who grew up in NYC/Queens, led us to Casa Havana, a great Cuban restaurant on 8th Avenue just south of 20th. We ate, we talked and laughed. The next day the Cinco Puntos team was up early for the second and last day of the BEA. It's hard work, but it's fun. Book people are cool. Viva el libro!
--Bobby Byrd

David Unger, Novelist and US Rep for the Feria del Libro in Guadalajara,
and Jane Mirandette, founder of the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Movil in Nicaragua

Independent Sales Representatives for Consortium,
Stephen Williamson and Bill Jordan.
Good guys and members of the now defunct Brothers Karamozof,
an infamous and legendary drinking society. 

Johnny Byrd, CFO of CPP; artist Christopher Cardinale,
Dana Goldberg, Senior Editor at Children's Book Press;
and Janet del Mundo, Sales and Marketing Director at Children's Book Press
at the Casa Havana after the anniversary party

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