It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Sting
Author of acclaimed bestselling histories Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, Hellhound on His Trail, and, most recently, In the Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides is editor-at-large for Outside magazine and a regular contributor to National Geographic and Smithsonian. He lives in Santa Fe and teaches literary journalism and narrative history at Colorado College. Asked to write about something that to him defines the Heart of NM, he chose the tarantula hawk, a “little beastie” so mean and ferocious that he named his son’s soccer team after it. “We were No. 1 in the state one year, but our opponents were always utterly confused,” he says. “They were like, ‘Uh, what’s a tarantula hawk?’”

The Godfather
As Carmella Padilla prepared to depart a recent interview with legendary author Rudolfo Anaya, he loaded her up with an armful fresh homegrown apples. “When you eat one, it tastes of the earth and of the water from the acequias,” he said. The fact that Anaya has a love of gardening struck her as no surprise. The words planted by Anaya during his long writing career have nurtured residents all across the state and around the world. Padilla, a regular contributor to the magazine, is a native New Mexican author of several books and a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. She writes extensively about the intersections in art, culture, and history in New Mexico and beyond.

Let's Put on a Show!
A Silver City native, Jennifer C. Olson returned home after discovering that the real world didn’t compare with her dynamic town and residents like Teresa Dahl-Bredine. Olson edits the local arts-and-outdoors paper, writes for regional publications, and, as a kid, had a role in one of Dahl-Bredine’s theater productions. “I always saw Teresa as an incredibly creative go-getter, but I didn’t realize the scope of her ambition and the range of her impact until moving back to Silver City three years ago. She’s an invigorating factor in Silver’s downtown social scene.”