ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A pair of high schoolers in Albuquerque is coming out with a new book about life in South Valley. The compilation of poetry and artwork highlights what they say is the spirit of their home. 

“I just want to show everyone that you have a place and that your place is beautiful,” Cheyenne Anderson. 

Cheyenne Anderson is one of the authors of the poetry book titled “South Valley.” The ninth-grader at Bosque School co-created the book with her friend and classmate Isabel James. Anderson said the idea for the book was inspired by her childhood and a desire to change perceptions.  

“Growing up, I’d tell people where I’m from, and they’d be like, ‘Oh, you’re from the South Valley, ooh,’ and they’d bring up all these horrible stereotypes,” explained Anderson. 

The images in the book were created by South Valley artist Bill Mohr. They capture iconic South Valley businesses including El Paisa Taqueria, Chavez Martial Arts Academy, and the original “Pop Fizz” food truck.  

The students collaborated with established poets Jimmy Santiago Baca, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Pultizer Prize-Winner Mary Oliver. Other poems in the book were written by South Valley students. Anderson said it’s about capturing the heart of South Valley. 

“[It’s] more about like a feeling or a memory you have connected to the South Valley,” said Anderson. 

Her goal is to instill a sense of pride in the South Valley’s next generation. 

“My hope for this book is that every kid out there is seen, and they never feel embarrassed about where they come from and that they see that there is real beauty in their community,” she said. 

The book is expected to be finished by the end of May. The students hope to distribute the book throughout local schools and libraries. If you’re interested in getting a copy, visit the official Instagram account to get on the contact list.