Cinco Puntos Press
|Founder||Bobby Byrd and Lee Byrd|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||El Paso, Texas|
|Distribution||Consortium Book Sales & Distribution|
Cinco Puntos Press, established in 1985, is an independent book publishing company located in El Paso, Texas. The company is a general trade publisher which has received most attention for their bilingual children’s books and fiction and non-fiction focusing on the Mexico–United States border area. The owners and founders are novelist Lee Merrill Byrd and poet Bobby Byrd. Their son Johnny Byrd is now CEO. Cinco Puntos is distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution.Their list is known for its multi-cultural and political focus for both children and adults.
Cinco Puntos Press authors include Joe Hayes, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Tim Tingle, George Ella Lyon, Dagoberto Gilb, David Romo, Robert Boswell, Gary Cartwright, Xavier Garza, James Carlos Blake, Subcomandante Marcos, Byrd Baylor, J.L. Powers, Youme Landowne, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, and many others.
Cinco Puntos received national notoriety when, in March 1999, it published the book The Story of Colors / La Historia de los colores written by Subcomandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico. Bill Ivey, chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts—which had previously awarded $7,500 to Cinco Puntos Press for the publication of the story—pulled the funding on March 9, 1999 after being interviewed by Julia Preston of the Mexico City bureau of The New York Times. The NEA’s move drew national attention to the book and Cinco Puntos when an article about the controversy was published on the front page of the New York Times. The Lannan Foundation provided Cinco Puntos Press with twice the amount of the lost funding and Cinco Puntos Press sold out their first printing of the book in days. Publisher Bobby Byrd made a personal statement on the Cinco Puntos Press website, stating:
It was a strange media frenzy, a true boon to Cinco Puntos. But real ideas and issues got lost in that frenzy, the most important of which is the indigenous struggle for autonomy and land in Chiapas.
The company has won several awards:
- Lannan Foundation, 2005—Bobby Byrd and Lee Merrill Byrd awarded Cultural Freedom Fellowships for Excellence in Publishing
- Before Columbus Foundation, The American Book Award, 1999, for Excellence in Publishing
- Rocky Mountain Publishing Association—the Dwight A. Myers Award, 1997, for Excellence in Regional Publishing
- Border Regional Library Association—the Southwest Book Award, 1993, for Excellence in Publishing
In addition, author Benjamin Alire Sáenz won a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award in 2013 for his book Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, published by Cinco Puntos in 2012.
- Cinco Puntos Press Website: About Us
- Cinco Puntos Press Website: Authors
- National Endowment for the Arts. NPR, March 10, 1999.
- NEA Couldn't Tell a Book by Its Cover. The New York Times, March 10, 1999
- NEA Cancels Grant to Children's Book Written by Marcos; Lannan Foundation Will Provide the Money. Artscope, Marcy 11, 1999.
- Cinco Puntos Press: The Story Behind The Story of Colors
- Lannan Foundation: Bobby Byrd and Lee Merrill Byrd Each Awarded 2005 Cultural Freedom Fellowship
- Publisher's Weekly: And the Winners Were...
- Cinco Puntos Press: Awards
- Taos Writers Conference: Lee and Bobby Byrd