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Cinco Puntos Press records,

Identifier: Ms-0452

Scope and Content

The Cinco Puntos Press Records contain the business and organizational records of the El Paso publishing concern. They are divided into seven (7) series. These are Author Files, Unpublished Manuscripts, Operational Files, Financial Records, Media, Oversize Materials, and Photographs.

This material includes correspondence, page proofs, publicity materials, manuscripts, newsclippings, printed material, publisher's drafts, mechanical reproduction drafts, staff meeting minutes, schedules, bookseller catalogs, press sheets, invoices, bank statements, royalty statements, expense files, audio tapes, video tapes, reviews, photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, contact sheets, computer-generated images, and other illustrative media, and other materials related to the publication process of Cinco Puntos Press and its authors. The organization of these files were maintained to keep the original order of the publisher's work process. There are several noted authors from the Southwest U.S. and Mexico included in the records of the Press, including Rudolfo Anaya, Subcommandante Marcos, Keith Wilson, Bobby Byrd, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Debbie Nathan, Lisa Sandlin, Ricardo Sanchez, and Joe Hayes. Other significant correspondents include William Ivey, Joy Harjo, Edward James Olmos, and Alex Cox.

Noteworthy among these files are duplicates of "post-it" notes, which were used liberally by Press personnel during their work in the editorial process. Copies of the notes were placed in their original place within all series in which they were contained, and the original tab removed for conservation purposes.

Several titles within the Cinco Puntos Records register are listed in both English and Spanish. If the primary title is in English and the translated words are repeated in Spanish in published form, the Spanish title is noted parenthetically in the Finding Guide. If a main book title is in Spanish and repeated in English, the same format is used in the listing of containers in the register of records.

Manuscripts often are in proof format, but were classified as manuscripts in order to distinguish them from the different kinds of proofs. They are arranged per the original order in which the collection was acquired. Printed material includes copies of newspaper clippings, magazine articles, catalogs, book excerpts, and book reviews of Cinco Puntos Press publications. The filing arrangement was kept in part to parallel the aspect of working files that were used in the process of publication.

Often there are multiple manuscript copies for one particular work. Some copies have been classified as edited manuscript copies or under other designation in labeling folders. These are often divided into additional parts because the edited copy is organized without regard to page numbers. All effort has been made in order to classify different manuscript copies in a distinct fashion. This includes titling manuscripts as being edited, unedited, or wherever possible, by draft edition (for instance, second or third draft). It is also possible that manuscript titles are different from those that appear in published form. These manuscript sets are arranged by author, and filed alphabetically, as are the rest of the items in the Author Files series.

Dates on the finding guide may not correspond with publication dates. Manuscripts and proofs may have several different copies that are dated by the time of production, not the book's final publication date. If additional editions are printed, this can also accounts for the wide range of dates that one publication. Also, files often were found with markings on them that referred to other files within the Records register, although these files were not marked within the set of records as they were received. Files were often found unlabeled or out of folders, and were relabeled to best reflect the content therein. Much of the variety of correspondence, reviews, promotional material, and other types of files labeled often contain very similar materials. In some cases, annotated copies of material are the only distinction in their main content. Researchers are best served to survey files from a particular author and see what kind of material was retained by Cinco Puntos Press.


  • 1970-2002

Language of Materials

Materials in English

Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes.

Copyrights associated with this collection have not been transferred and assigned to New Mexico State University.


Cinco Puntos Press was founded in 1985 by two writers, Bobby Byrd and Lee Merrill Byrd. Cinco Puntos Press is an independent press that specializes in literature from the area of the United States-Mexico border, Mexico, and the American Southwest. The name Cinco Puntos, literally translated as “Five Points” in Spanish, is named for the neighborhood in which the press was founded and to emphasize the Mexican influence in the El Paso, Texas area. Cinco Puntos’ first published work was Winners on the Pass Line and Other Stories, by Dagoberto Gilb, was released in 1985.

Prior to his involvement with the publishing operation, Bobby Byrd published several volumes of poetry and related literature. This work included Places is & Memphis Poems (1971), Pomegranates (1984), and On the Transmigration of Souls in El Paso (1992). He received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Creative Writing/Poetry in 1990, and was recipient of the D.H. Lawrence Fellowship and Residency that same year. Mr. Byrd's wife, Lee Merrill Byrd, is also a writer. She is best known for a collection of short stories, My Sister Disappears (1993). Susan Byrd, whose work has been published under the name Susannah Mississippi Byrd, assisted in the editing of The Late Great Mexican Border: Reports From a Disappearing Line. This work was published by Cinco Puntos Press in 1996.

Cinco Puntos Press positions itself as a voice for the Southwest Borderlands region. It claims a deep commitment to literature in the U.S.-Mexico Border region, with emphasis being placed on the areas covering southern New Mexico, El Paso, and the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Much of their work has been assisted through the awarding of grants to their operation, and the operation has also benefitted through earning several literary awards. Cinco Puntos received the American Book Award for excellence in publishing in 1999, and the business was inducted into the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. In 1997, Cinco Puntos also received the Dwight A. Myers Award by the Rocky Mountain Publishing Association for excellence in regional publishing. They also received five publishing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and three similar grants from the Texas Commission for the Arts. The Border Regional Library Association, in addition to awarding Southwest Book Awards for three books through the 1990s, presented Cinco Puntos Press with a special Southwest Book Award in 1993 for outstanding achievement in bringing national recognition to Southwestern literature. Cinco Puntos also received two grants from the Fideicomiso para la Cultura de M?xico y Estados Unidos, which was funded jointly by Belles Artes and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution is the chief distributor of the Press' inventory to the book trade market. Cinco Puntos' book marketing, however, is not limited to bookstores. Direct sales, especially through means of the Internet starting in the 1990s, have strengthened the Press' educational sales component. Among its best selling group of books are bilingual and children's books. Most noteworthy was La Llorona, the tale of the Mexican Weeping Woman, written by well-known Southwestern storyteller Joe Hayes. Cinco Puntos published La Llorona in 1987. This was the Press' first children's book, and it marked a new direction in its publishing focus. Over 70,000 copies of the book were printed through the year 2000.

In addition to juvenile titles, Cinco Puntos has published works of authors from Mexico, including Ricardo Castillo of Guadalajara and Luis Humberto Crosthwaite of Tijuana. This cross-cultural exchange between Mexican authors and publishing houses initiated by Cinco Puntos Press is rare in the world of publishing, and has allowed new works of literature exposure to markets heretofore unseen.

Cinco Puntos was featured in national headlines in 1999 after the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) abruptly cancelled a grant of $7,500 that was awarded to publish a book entitled The Story of Colors. The cancellation took place because the book was written by Subcommandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista guerrilla movement in the Mexican state of Chiapas. NEA Chairman William Ivey claimed he withdrew the grant because he was concerned that the monies awarded would be distributed among the Zapatistas. The resulting publicity that arose from the controversial decision was published in the New York Times, and proved beneficial for Cinco Puntos. Spurred on by the incident, the first printing of The Story of Colors sold 5,000 copies in three days through advance orders. The Press immediately made plans for a second printing of 8,000 books in the wake of their successful early sales, and their publishing efforts were underwritten by a larger grant of $15,000 from the Lannan Foundation based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Cinco Puntos continues to draw praise for their wide portfolio of children's books and other specialty publications. Using the bilingual nature of the U.S-Mexico border and the appeal of excellent literature across Anglo and Latino cultures, this concern has taken a leadership role in the improvement of literature and letters coming from the desert Southwest.


37.25 Linear Feet


El Paso, Texas-based publisher, specializing in literature, poetry, and fiction that emphasizes experience in the Southwest borderlands and Mexico. Authors published by the Press include several award-winning Southwestern writers, storytellers, and poets.


  1. RG 99-051 Purchase from Cinco Puntos Press
  2. RG 99-138 Purchase from Cinco Puntos Press
  3. RG 2000-189 Purchase from Cinco Puntos Press
  4. RG 2002-100 Purchase from Cinco Puntos Press

Separated Material

Dispersed Items

An oversized stamp pad bearing the expression, "We're Expecting," was removed from the Cinco Puntos Press Records and resides in the Memorabilia section of the Archives and Special Collections Department of the New Mexico State University Library.


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections Department
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (505) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (505) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Register of the Cinco Puntos Press records, 1970-2002
Processed by Preliminary Processing by Portia Vescio, assisted by Cecelia Carrasco, Sonia Crose, Shannon Cavanagh, and Roxanne Klunczyk, June 2001- September 2002. Final Processing by Bill Boehm, assisted by Leslie Bergloff, Maribel Tellez, Kris Laumbach, Tony Luchini, Jackie Duncan, and Allison Galey, July-November 2004.
© 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA