Monday, July 9, 2018

LORD NOSE! The Award Goes to Cinco Puntos Press

The CPP Team @ Headquarters, El Paso, Texas:
Co-founders Lee and Bobby Byrd;
Mary Fountaine,Office Manager; and Johnny Byrd, CEO;
Not pictured are Jessica Powers (California), VP of Marketing and Imagination,
Michelle Lange,  Graphics and Design, Whack Publications, Chicago,
Michael Drapes, CPA; and Jill Bell, Director of What Really Gets Done

Yahoo! Cinco Puntos Press receives 2018 Lord Nose Award celebrating the life and work of the legendary JonathanWilliams andhis Jargon Society. 

Introduction of the Award

It is my great pleasure and honor to have established the annual Lord Nose Award. It is given to honor and celebrate the memory of Jonathan Williams to a publisher or editor in recognition of a lifetime of work in literary publishing. 

Jonathan was the founder and publisher of the now legendary Jargon Society, as well as being a wonderful poet, photographer, raconteur and cultural observer with a mordant wit and a clear eye for artistic excellence wherever it might be found.

Over more than half a century, beginning in 1951, Jargon published 85 books and 30 broadsides and booklets, all focused on Jonathan’s unique vision of writing and photography that truly mattered, that needed to be discovered, nurtured and brought forth into the world. His commitment to making books as beautiful as possible never wavered.  

The books and broadsides he published include many that are now recognized as seminal, and often the books he published were writers’ first books. The Jargon list is a fantastic representation of so many of the most important creative figures of the late twentieth century, including Duncan, Creeley, Olson, Zukofsky, Niedecker, Mina Loy, Art Sinsabaugh, Denise Levertov, Paul Metcalf, Larry Eigner, Guy Davenport, Buckminster Fuller, along with many other poets, writers and photographers, even the now notorious White Trash Cooking, its best selling book, by far.

Jargon stands as one of the most important literary presses America has produced. It is an exemplar of a Jonathan’s lifelong dedication to words and art, of discovery and joy,  the social act of making public the work he believed in. 

Jonathan Williams was an important influence in my own work, so this award is in part a humble thank you and acknowledgment of what he meant to me and to so many other poets, publishers and readers. I would like to specifically thank Jeffery Beam and Stanley Finch, for their important financial contributions to this effort, as well as Tom Meyer, Jonathan’s life partner, for his endorsement of this award. I’d also like to thank Jeffrey Lependorf and CLMP for giving this project a home, and Poets House for giving us this great location.

It is a distinct pleasure for me to be able to recognize Bobby, Lee and John Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press to receive this second Lord Nose award for 2018.

Jonathan Williams was both a poet and a publisher.  He had eyes and ears for talent and brilliance, coupled with an intransigent belief that great art was very often, most often, ignored by the traditional keepers of culture. His goal as a publisher was to find and care for those individualistic eccentrics who, like him, had something to say that not many of his contemporaries cared to hear. His goal as a writer and photographer was to isolate and recognize the beautiful, sometimes weird moments in life that make it so worth living and enjoying.

Cinco Puntos Press has brilliantly carried on the tradition of independent published Jonathan Williams embodied.  Bobby and Lee are both writers, and the press has always been focused on writers and their works above and beyond whatever commercial success they might have had. Like Jargon, Cinco Puntos is a writer’s press. Bobby and Lee, and now John, representing a new generation, have combined their work and lives to creating great books that will empower and strengthen communities of readers, and honor the writers who made them. I am very pleased to be able to give the second Lord Nose award to Bobby, Lee and John Byrd, and I know that Jonathan Williams would have joined us in congratulating them on a lifetime of publishing books that truly matter.
--David Wilk, Booktrix

Susannah Lawrence, Director of Publicity, Akashic Books,
Receives the award for Cinco Puntos Press

Susannah Lawrence, Director of Publicity, receives the Award for Cinco Puntos and reads Bobby's speech. 

Mil abrazos y mil gracias to the CLMP and Jeffrey Lependorf and to David Wilk and colleagues for choosing Cinco Puntos Press from so many deserving Independent Publishers. We’re touched deeply. And thanks too to Susannah Lawrence of Akashic Books for receiving this award for us. She and our friends at Akashic are great and wonderful examples of why we are so happy and proud to be Independent Publishers, to be in this great big simmering soup of ideas and words and people and evolution.

WOW! Lee and I wish we could be here with you tonight. We’re so very much honored to be receiving the 2nd Annual Lord Nose Award. It’s so very cool to be celebrating Jonathan Williams and Jargon Press. Jonathan was a true hero. He was at the beginning of who we are now. All of us! He and his peers scattered across the country were our Johnny Appleseed. When I was in my teens in the 1950s in Memphis, my friend Harvey Goldner began reading me all these strange and different poems.  Gosh, I didn’t know writing could be like that! Charles Olson, Joel Oppenheimer, Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Leroi Jones, Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan, Mina Loy, Lorraine Niedecker, Kenneth Patchen and so many others. I was hooked for life. I became a poet. How stupid is that? And in the 1980s Lee and I became publishers? Wow! How so very weird and naïve is that? We live in El Paso, Texas, at the edge of nowhere. So far outside the mainstream that the creeks and rivers are dry. Lucky for us, we didn’t really understand what we were doing. We didn’t know we were outsiders. We published the writers and books that were in front of us to publish. Border books. Mexican books. Bilingual books. Our friends in the American deserts of the Southwest. Dagoberto Gilb. Ricardo Sanchez. Joe Hayes. Luis Urrea. Pat LittleDog. Larry Goodell. Joseph Somoza. Rudolfo Anaya. Keith Wilson. Benjamin Saenz. And step by step, readers and other writers started finding us. Our good friends at Consortium Book Sales and Distribution decided to distribute our books. We made new friends in the publishing world. Truly independent publishers like us. Fools like us. Good close friends. Lifelong friends. The pathway has been made by books, and it’s led us into so many new and wonderful places. It’s made us citizens of the world. Activists in the world of letters and the imagination, activists in the world of culture and communication. Active resisters to the violence that is being done to the peoples of our world, to our communities, to our cultures and politics, and to the earth. We are so so happy and honored to be receiving the Lord Nose Award. Holy shit! Thank you. Especially today because today is Lee Merrill Byrd’s birthday, the great and wondrous senior editor and President of Cinco Puntos Press. I am blessed to share with her all the joys and frustrations, the wild and wonderful ride of this so very peculiar life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
--Bobby Byrd

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hang out with Cinco Puntos in New Orleans — even if you're staying home

Come Hang Out with Cinco Puntos in New Orleans

Even if You're Not There!

Here is how you can spend time with Cinco Puntos at the American Library Association in New Orleans, even if you are staying home.

Visit us in the Consortium Ingram Aisle
Booth 3137A

Booth 3137A will always be home base for writers, artists, readers, librarians, book lovers and cool people. This year, wandering in and out of home base, will be Cinco Puntos Press writers David Bowles, Xelena Gonzalez, Adriana Garcia and Cynthia Weill. You can be sure to catch David, Xelena and Adriana at the following times.

Booth Schedule

June 22, Friday 

The opening reception is from 5:30 to 7 pm, with David Bowles signing Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky in our booth. Michelle Obama will also be in the building. From 6 to 6:30 pm, Adriana M. Garcia and Xelena Gonzalez will be signing All Around Us.

June 23, Saturday

Starting at 11 am, Adriana M. Garcia and Xelena Gonzalez will be signing All Around Us, a stunning book which was named an American Indian Library Association Picture Book Honor Book and won the Pura Belpre Honor Book Award and the Tomas Rivera Award.

From 1 to 2 pm, David Bowles, fresh from a teaching and learning session at the Children’s Institute, will be back to meet and greet with anybody who loves Mexican myths, which he has brought to life in his newest book Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky. If you're lucky, you might also be able to get a galley of his latest book They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid's Poems.

3 to 4 pm Adriana M. Garcia and Xelena Gonzalez return for another round!

June 24, Sunday

On the final day, we kick it off from 11 am to 12 noon with Adriana M. Garcia and Xelena Gonzalez signing copies of All Around Us.

Browse Our Featured Books

Scroll through all the great titles we're talking about this season, from a great American caper to the poems of a kid struggling with identity as he grows up on the border. When you find books you like, shop for them on our Facebook site.

Follow us online at #ALAAnnual

If you’re working during ALA, keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook. Bobby will be posting his favorite New Orleans inspired songs all week.

Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas Ave, El Paso, TX 79901

Friday, May 4, 2018

Why Does Beto O'Rourke Support Drug Reform?

Why does Beto O’Rourke support drug reform?

Because the War on Drugs doesn’t work

This became obvious to Beto O’Rourke and Susie Byrd when they were El Paso City Representatives and started to ask questions about why El Paso’s sister city Ciudad Juárez had become the deadliest city in the world.

Their research led to this book.

In Dealing Death and Drugs, Beto O'Rourke and Susie Byrd explore the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition.

They argue that marijuana prohibition has created a black market so profitable that drug kingpins are billionaires and drug control doesn’t stand a chance. Using Juárez as their focus, they describe the business model of drug trafficking and explain why this illicit system has led to the never-ending slaughter of human beings. Their position: the only rational alternative to the War on Drugs is to end the current prohibition on marijuana.

Special: Buy a first edition copy of "Dealing Death and Drugs" for $10

‘That's Why Beto and I Wrote This Book’

Everyday in El Paso, we are assaulted with the rat-a-tat-tat of a daily death count in Juárez’s drug war and yet my daughter reports that marijuana is widely available at her school and has been since she was in 7th grade. If our current drug policy has not successfully shielded my children from the ability to access drugs, how can I—how can we—support a policy that accepts eight people dying every day in Juárez as the collateral damage in a war that is marketed as keeping drugs out of the hands of our kids?

And even more astounding: faced with the drug war death toll in Mexico, faced with the high costs of the drug war and faced with the failures of the existing drug war policies, the only response of politicians and policymakers in both Mexico and the United States is to do more of the same, committing more dollars to a 40-year strategy that has failed our nation and has destabilized our neighbor.

If Washington won’t do anything different; if Mexico City won’t do anything different, then it is up to us, the citizens of the border, to write a different history with a better ending than the script that has been handed to us. We want you to help.

We can start by rattling the cages of the federal politicians who write these laws and the bureaucrats who manage them.

That’s why Beto and I wrote this book.

—From Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico, afterword by Susie Byrd

Donate to Beto O'Rourke's campaign

Cinco Puntos Press supports Beto O’Rourke as a 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas.

Follow us @5puntosbooks Follow Us on Instagram

Friday, March 30, 2018



“Okay, I am ready to sell All Around Us! It is beautiful. I answered the phone just as I closed the book. I couldn't say hello for a couple of seconds because I had tears welling up.” —Connie Griffin, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

A transcendent, perfectly gorgeous book, as magical as childhood feels in its best times. Rich, warm, comforting words & images to hold closely in your mind. ―Naomi Shihab Nye

All Around Us begs to be shared over and over. The use of lines and strokes conveys energy, spirit, magic. And I love the way it connects us all to the idea that we come from inside, from the earth, from something gentle and primal, and that is where go back to—and we better take care of it.   —Yuyi Morales

ALSC Notable Children’s Book
2018 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book 
2018 American Indian Youth Literature Award: Picture Book Honor 
Tomás Rivera Award Best Picture Book 
Texas Institute of Letters Best Picture Book 

Illustrator Adriana Garcia and Author Xelena Gonzalez

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hang out with us in Denver at ALA Midwinter

Cinco Puntos is coming as a squad of strong women to ALA, with armloads of new galleys, books and swag. Stop by for a visit, Booth 1807A.

A lifelong love story not between two lovers but between a woman and her body.

Simone comes of age in WWI. She comes into her own in WWII as part of the French resistance. Frequently, she abandons herself to lust—particularly to a man named Jacques. She leaves her first husband for Jacques and spends over a decade as his lover. They eventually marry, yet Simone still sleeps with strangers, her husband the most distant of them all. What is she seeking? Simone isn’t sure. More than sex—a tenderness that lust can never fill. Just when her body feels most fragile, she meets Pierre, a much younger man, a novice at love-making, clumsy and overly emotional, a fool—yet there is something about him.

The river that runs through the wilderness opens his heart: the mountains burn, friends die, and green shoots sprout from the ashes.

The Gila River and Wilderness are the heart and soul of A Song for the River. Every summer since 2002, Connors has been perched in a tower 50 feet above the Gila Wilderness, watching for fire. His first book, Fire Season (30,000 sold), recounted the deep lessons learned about mountains, wilderness, fire, and solitude. A Song for the River, its sequel, updates and deepens the story: the mountain he loves goes up in flames; a lookout on another mountain whom he has come to love as brother dies in a freak accident; and three high school students he admires die tragically in an airplane crash while researching the wilderness and the wild river they wish to save. Connors channels their voices in a praise song of great urgency and makes a plea to save a vital piece of our natural and cultural heritage: the wild Gila River, whose waters are threatened by a potential dam.

Finally, a unified narrative of the fragmented mythology of pre-Columbian Mexico from before time to the Conquest.

The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan. In the course of that history we learn about the Creator Twins, Feathered Serpent, and Dark Heart of Sky, and how they built the world on a leviathan’s back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes—elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Motecuhzoma and destroy the very stories we are reading.

Once-errant stoners score the biggest load of Colombian pot that had yet to reach our shores. A true tale.

Against a 1970s backdrop of Vietnam, political corruption, and radical activism, comes the true story of a loose confederacy of thrill-seeking opportunists and disaffected veterans who pulled off the largest, most audacious pot smuggle yet attempted—over twenty-eight tons of primo Colombian headed for the densely populated coast of Massachusetts in a rusty shrimp boat at the height of hurricane season. From the borderland of El Paso to the High Sierra of Mexico to the coast of South America and back, this is how they parlayed their first puff into truckloads, planeloads, and ultimately, the mother lode. Folly Cove is a high-spirited tale of the early days, when the business of pot was a benign crusade to keep America high.

“A lot of people got high, a few people got rich, and nobody got hurt. As far as we were concerned, we broke a law that was already broken.”

Sit down with Xelena Gomez, Cynthia Weill, Lee Merrill Byrd and Jessica Powers to talk about their work, including All Around Us and the First Concepts board book collection.

We'll be taking pictures with people, too! Follow us @5puntosbooks   Follow Us on Instagram

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Warehouse Sale: Books Going at 75 Percent Off

Cinco Puntos
An Indie Publisher
With a Big Heart
And a Small Warehouse

Our warehouse is filled to the brim with great books for readers of all ages, but we need to clear space for all the wonderful books we are publishing this spring.

Time to turn our predicament to your advantage, and to the advantage of the kids you know and serve! Cinco Puntos is offering its best discount ever to literacy organizations who can make bulk purchases. This is a great opportunity for libraries, literacy organizations and concerned citizens to stock up for Día de los Niños, summer reading programs and other book giveaways.

All the books are priced about 75% off retail price.
In a few instances, the price is somewhat higher or lower than that because of our markup goal. Because we are offering such good prices we do have a couple of requests:
  • Quantities are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis 
  • Customer pays shipping from our warehouse in Tennessee (this is exactly what we are charged with no markup), 
  • Invoices are net-10, 
  • To qualify for these discounts, the total invoice subtotal must exceed $500,
  • Case quantities only.
Talk to John Byrd.
Please write or call John Byrd for more information. Email or call 915-838-1625.

Happy Reading!

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