Novelist and publisher Lee Merrill Byrd was born and raised in New Jersey but has spent most of her life in the Southwest, the last 40 years in El Paso. In 1985, with her husband, poet Bobby Byrd, she founded Cinco Puntos Press, a publishing house recognized for its bilingual and multicultural books for children, young adults and adults. Lee has published a collection of short stories, "My Sister Disappears," three children's books, "The Treasure on Gold Street," "Juanito Counts to Ten" and "Birdie's Beauty Parlor" and a novel, "Riley's Fire." Her latest is "Birdie's Beauty Parlor." In 1997, she was the recipient of the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship. In 2005, she and her husband received Cultural Freedom Fellowships from the Lannan Foundation.