NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – April 23 is World Book Day, an annual event put on by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It’s a day to celebrate reading, publishing, as well as copyright. There are plenty of ways to observe the day with some of the state’s own authors.

Gramita’s Tortillas by Maria Gomez

Maria Gomez

Author Maria Gomez fulfilled a lifelong goal in December of 2020 with the release of her bilingual children’s book Gramita’s Tortillas. Gomez drew inspiration for the book from her own home growing up. “I grew up living with my mom, sister and grandmother who was like a second parent to me. She would always make her tortillas when the family came to see her. She was really like the center of the family,” Gomez said.

Gramita’s Tortillas can be found in local bookstores like Organic Books in Albuquerque or online from Amazon.

Spirit Birds They Told Me by Mary Oishi

Albuquerque Poet Laureate Mary Oishi began writing poetry in high school as a way to process difficulties in her life. “I went through a lot of things in my life being half Japanese and growing up with people who were in a very racist area, as well as the people who raised me had a lot of ignorance around white supremacy,” Oishi said. Along with being a published author, Oishi hosts Poets at the Libraries, a series of readings at each of the library branches with featured poets and readings by community poets.

Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American Search Through Four Centuries of History, to the Mayflower by Neill McKee

A Canadian transplant to New Mexico, “Guns and Gods” is a travel memoir by author Neill McKee, chronicling his journey to trace his family lineage. McKee conducted travel research during the summers of 2017-2019, visiting Ontario, Canada and 22 American states and tracked out locations where his ancestors lived.

Sharon Vander Meer

Las Vegas, New Mexico author Sharon Vander Meer began her career working for a small town newspaper after she graduated high school. What followed was a 30-year career in journalism. Vander Meer has written multiple novels, science fiction, poetry, as well as essays. She has also been heavily involved in creating a new local writing group and blogs on all topics, especially on what’s going on in Las Vegas.

Luci Tapahonso

Born in Shiprock on the Navajo Nation, Inaugural Navajo Poet Laureate Luci Tapahonso says her writing was born out of the lack of Native representation in the books she read. “I hope readers take away that one of the things that really keeps us together and gives us strength is our culture, our beliefs, and our deep connection to the land and our relatives,” Tapahonso said. She has worked as a professor at UNM, University of Arizona, and the University of Kansas.