As the Page Turns

Local Book Club

Take Me to Your Reader

Local Book Club

In a year as tumultuous and uncertain as the one we are leaving behind, the arts and literacy have perhaps been more important than ever before. The city of Roswell believes in the power of words, art, and the humanities. Eastern New Mexico University is proud to host The Big Read Roswell. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Big Read exists to promote literacy and unity in a community or city by having people of all ages, high school students to senior citizens, reading the same book and engaging in a variety of activities related to the book’s main theme. From January 15th through March 2021, participants will be able to submit their work for contests, engage in conversation, learn from workshops, and more.

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell is the lead organizer for the Big Read project, and they have partnered with different community organizations such as Roswell Public Library, Friends of the Roswell Public Library, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell Independent School District, Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and the Roswell Literacy Council. Copies of this year’s book, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, will be distributed widely throughout the community in order to ensure that everyone has a chance to read the book and participate in the community activities. There will be versions in both English and Spanish.

This year’s novel was chosen after 32 books on the NEA’s Big Read list for the 2020-2021 academic year were reviewed by the Roswell Big Read Committee. Into the Beautiful North blends humor and pathos to tell the story of main characters and their experiences from Mexico to the U.S. We look forward to community events structured around the novel’s themes of friendship, loyalty, perseverance, border issues, survival instincts, and using one’s talents to thrive. Community events include numerous book discussions in English and Spanish, writing workshops, writing, art and poetry contests, panel presentations with guest speakers, musical and dance performances, and a personal appearance by the novel’s author Luis Urrea.

It has been over ten years since Roswell has participated in a Big Read program – one that is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The purpose of the Big Read is to promote literacy and unity in a given city or community by having as many people of all ages – from students of middle and high school age through senior citizens – reading the same book and participating in a wide variety of activities that are related to some of the book’s main themes. ENMU-Roswell is the lead organization in the current Big Read project. But it is partnering with a number of different community organizations, including, Roswell Public Library, Friends of the Roswell Public Library, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell Independent School District, Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and the Roswell Literacy Council to ensure that participation in these events are a community-wide affair.

After reviewing 32 books on the NEA’s Big Read list for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Roswell Big Read Committee selected Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. The novel, which blends humor and pathos, is a tale that begins in a small town in Sinaloa, Mexico and encompasses adventures and experiences by the main characters in Tia Juana, San Diego and as far away as Kankakee, Illinois. The novel’s themes of friendship, loyalty, perseverance, cross border issues, survival instincts and using one’s innate talents to ultimately thrive offer a variety of opportunities for community events. Our community events include numerous book discussions in English and Spanish, writing workshops, writing, art and poetry contests, panel presentations with guest speakers, musical and dance performances, and a personal appearance by the book’s author Luis Urrea. Copies of the book will be distributed widely throughout the community to ensure everyone has a chance to read the book and participate in the range of community activities. There will be versions in both English and Spanish available.

Rollah Aston

Committee Chairman

Jori Flom

Holding the Bookmarks available!