The Big Read will celebrate "Into the Beautiful North"

Feb 22, 2018

Dr. Miriam Chaiken at KRWG-FM studios.
The NEA Big Read promotions with Miriam Chaiken at NMSU.
"Into the Beautiful" by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Las Cruces, NM – On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with Dean of New Mexico State University’s William Conroy Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken, to talk to us about a community-wide reading project. This year’s selection for The Big Read Project in Las Cruces is Luis Urrea’s book, “Into the Beautiful North.”

The last Big Read in Las Cruces was in 2007 with Rudy Anaya’s book, “Bless Me Ultima.” Last year NMSU was one of 75 organizations out of 32 states in the United States selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive funding during for hosting an NEA Big Read Project during 2017-2018. Dr. Chaiken says that one of the reasons the panel selected “Into the Beautiful North” was to build on cultural similarities between communities along the U.S. and Mexico Border.

The kickoff event for the NEA Big Read will take place on Saturday, February 24th at 11 am at the Las Cruces Plaza with mariachi and ballet folklorico performances. The schedule for several community-wide events planned through March can be found online at