Author/Photographer Don Usner Featured At Authors Speak Thursday

Don Usner

MPL News:

Author and photographer Don Usner is the featured speaker at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at Mesa Public Library.

Book cover for ‘Chasing Dichos through Chimayo.’ Courtesy photo

Usner’s latest book, published by UNM Press, is called Chasing Dichos through Chimayo. The book is a chronicle of his search for the deep roots contained in old sayings, proverbs and adages from a disappearing culture and language.

Chasing Dichos through Chimayo

The book also is a very personal and moving story of riding in the car with his mother to Chimayo to find those old stories. The stories start with a description of how the storyteller is related to Usner’s branch of the family, and a recounting of common relatives and family stories that use those proverbs to illustrate a point.

Usner is an accomplished photographer, who has been tapped to provide photographs by the Valles Caldera, Museum of New Mexico and the Lannan Foundation, among others. The book also contains unique photographs of the people and landscapes.

Usner spent his youth in Los Alamos and Chimayó. Growing up in these places fostered in him a love for the natural landscape and a deep appreciation of his cultural roots in the Rio Grande valley – subjects that have remained a focus of his work throughout his life. Usner was named one of ten Luminarias in New Mexico by the New Mexico Community Foundation in 2013.

Among Usner’s other published works are Benigna’s Chimayo: Cuentos from the Old Plaza, and Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayo’s Old Plaza. He also is listed as co-author with Frank V. Ortiz of Ambassador Ortiz: Lessons from a life of Service and with Elmo Baca of New Mexico Route 66 on Tour: Legendary Architecture from Glenrio to Gallup.

Authors Speak programs begin with a talk by the author, which is followed by a question and answer period, and the discussion is followed by a book-signing.

The Authors Speak Series is a monthly event featuring local and regional authors speaking about their writing on a variety of subjects such as local and state history, travel, outdoor activities, fiction, Native American history and culture, poetry and more. The series is funded by the Friends of the Los Alamos County Library System.

The talks are free and begin at 7 p.m., on the fourth Thursday of each month, followed by the opportunity to meet the authors and enjoy refreshments.