CBS publications coordinator, Daniel Montero, is getting ready for his fourth consecutive trip to the Durango Azoka fair taking place December 4 through 9, 2012. Durango Azoka is a unique event in the Basque Country. More than just a book and music showcase, it is a genuine celebration of Basque culture, with busy four-day schedule of events, performances, book launches, dinners, and much more.
This year marks the forty-seventh annual Durango Azoka, and has an additional connection with Reno and the Basque community in the United States in that the artist Nestor Basterretxea, well-known as the sculptor behind the National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder in Rancho San Rafael Park, has designed the commemorative poster for the event.
Montero says that what makes attending the event special for him is the pride and genuine appreciation for Basque culture that the Azoka brings out in the thousands of ordinary Basques from around the Basque Country who turn out for the event: “I can’t think of anything similar that we have in the United States where regular people just turn out to celebrate our literary and artistic culture,” he says.
He adds: “It is also very exciting for me, as the publications coordinator, to see the interest that people show in our books in English about the Basques. Even people who can read no English have to pass by our stand to see the books in English, and I think they take pride in our being a publisher in the United States who publishes books about the Basques. Every year I also have the chance to meet many interesting people who have been to the United States, either living and working here for a time, or only for a vacation, they’ve all heard of the Center for Basque Studies and it is a sense of tremendous pride and accomplishment to know that the work I’m doing is appreciated by so many Basques in the Basque Country.”
In addition to promoting CBS’s books at the Azoka, Montero takes time in the Basque Country to visit with bookstore and publishing representatives, Basque officials who take an interest in our publishing ventures, and authors, translators, designers, and editors with whom he works throughout the year.