Holes in Our Hearts Anthology

Holes in Our Hearts: An Anthology of New Mexican Military Related Stories and Poetry

Holes in Our Hearts provides snapshots of military life and how the military has affected lives. It is written from the perspective of New Mexico active-duty military members, veterans of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as their family members and caregivers. Some of the writing represents the first time many authors have revealed their innermost thoughts to anyone. Some of the stories are written by established authors with numerous publishing credentials. All are worth your time to learn why we continue to honor the military on behalf of a grateful nation.

The anthology is a beautiful collection of works that are emotional, humorous, frightening, enlightening, or thought-provoking. The recollections in Holes in Our Hearts are, in many instances, the only way the authors could share their memories and experiences.

This collection of prose and poetry was gathered and created by SouthWest Writers and funded through a grant from the State of New Mexico Arts Agency.


Contributor Tom Neiman prepared an 11-minute 49-second video about Holes in Our Hearts featuring Joe Badal, Jim Tritten, Steve Borbas (creator of the sculpture on the cover), and poet Paul Gonzales. Click here to watch the entire video. Or watch smaller segments of Steve Borbas discussing his sculpture, Joe Badal reading his Foreword to the anthology, Jim Tritten reading his Editor’s Introduction, and Paul Gonzales reading “A Hole in My Heart.”

Bob Kidera is host of the Black Range Podcast. On July 1, 2023, he interviewed Jim Tritten, who spearheaded and organized the Holes in Our Hearts anthology. Listen to the interview on buzzsprout.com and spotify.com.

Author Readings

Book launch/readings were held at the Los Lunas History Museum on July 15th, the Corrales Community Library on July 28th, the Santa Fe Main Library on August 12th, and the Cherry Hills Library on August 26th. One more regional book launch/reading is scheduled at the Placitas Community Library on Veteran’s Day, November 11th at 2:00 PM. A reading by ten authors also occurred at the regularly scheduled SWW in-person meeting at UNM-CE on Saturday, November 4th at 11:00 AM. Additional regional book launches/readings are still being worked on.

For Sale

Paperback and eBook editions of the anthology are available on Amazon. Revenue from the sale of Holes in Our Hearts will be used to pay for organizational programs such as high quality speakers and presenters at our meetings, classes, and workshops.

Contributing Authors

Rosa Armijo-Pemble
Joseph Badal
Rebecca Black
Steve Borbas
E. Joe Brown
Laurel Burnett
Sherri Burr
Ivan Calhoun
John J. Candelaria
Judy Castleberry
Brenda Cole
Brinn Colenda
Joshua Colenda
Mark Fleisher
Paul David Gonzales
Linda G. Harris
M. Elder Hays
A. Michael Hibner
Carl Hitchens
KE Hopkins
James Houston and Molly Houston
Rose Marie Kern
Carol Kreis
Caroline A. LeBlanc
Jacqueline Murray Loring
Butch Maki
Elaine Carson Montague
Sam Moorman
Evelyn Neil
Thomas Neiman
C.L. Nemeth
Paula Nixon
Harper O’Connor
Jeffrey Otis
Donna Pedace
W. Howard Plunkett
Léonie Rosenstiel
Earl W. Rugen
Lynne Sebastian
Barb Simmons
Ted Spitzmiller
Dale Swetnam
Jasmine Tritten
Jim Tritten
Lawrence Trujillo
Vicki A. Turpen
KL Wagoner
Regina Washington
Dan Wetmore
Benjamin White
Josephine White
J. Allen Whitt
Circe Olson Woessner
Norbert Wood
Kay Yoest

Holes in Our Hearts has had a great deal of success and been recognized both for its professional layout and for several stories/poems by individual contributors.  Some of these include:

Military Writers Society of America Annual Book Awards:    Finalist  in the category:  Anthology/Collection
– Finalists receive medals (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)   at the  annual conference at the end of september 2024


New Mexico Press Women’s Communication Contest:      2rd Place    Anthology

Jim Tritten, Joe Badal, Dan Wetmore won 1st place in the Book Editing category.  This allowed the book to be forwarded to the National Federation of Press Women’s Annual Contest where it received 2nd place for Editing.

Individuals whose stories won awards in this contest include:

  • Rosa Armijo-Pemble:   Just Care: A Lesson in Possibilities
  • Sherri Burr:   My Brother’s Guardian
  •  M. Elder Hays:  So Many Wars
  • Elaine Montague:  Marionettes
  • Leonie Rosenstiel:  Military Patterns


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