Last month (August 23), authors, book designers and illustrators, publishers and avid readers gathered for the annual New Mexico Book Association’s Summer Gala. Thrilled by our record attendance (70) and energized by our program, I served as emcee, sharing the mic with Co-President Miguel De La Cruz and other members of the board.
On the portal of Las Campanas in Santa Fe, acclaimed guitarist and singer Nacha Mendez performed for NMBA members and friends. Mendez, voted Best Female Vocalist in Santa Fe in 2009 and 2010, received the New Mexico Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
Weaving stories about being a robber gang’s lookout, stumbling upon a nine-bedroom house of his dreams that he would one day own, and taking teenagers from east LA into the hallowed library of Stanford University, Baca shared significant parts of his life and writing with Gala attendees.
I'm Shirley Melis. You may know me as Shirley M. Nagelschmidt, Shirley M. Bessey and now, Shirley M. Hirsch. Each reflects a particular phase of my life. Banged-Up Heart is a slice of my life's journey and in telling my story, I'm giving voice to my long silent "M" by reclaiming my maiden name, Shirley Melis.