Pat Mora Biography
"Ms. Mora's poems are proudly bilingual, an eloquent answer to purists who refuse to see language as something that lives and changes," wrote The New York Times of Pat Mora's poetry collection, Agua Santa: Holy Water. Other collections include Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen's Book of Practical Saints, Communion, Borders and Chants, and two collections for young adults, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love written in the voices of teens, and My Own True Name
Her three books of nonfiction are Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students, both an epistolary memoir of her journey as a writer and a creativity guide. The Washington Post described her acclaimed memoir, House of Houses, as a "textual feast...a regenerative act...and an eloquent bearer of the old truth that it is through the senses that we apprehend love." Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle was reviewed by Choice as, "Twenty inspiring essays written in a very poetic prose...A valuable contribution to American literature."
Among her awards are Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, Life-time Membership in USBBY, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.
Her newest children's books are Remembering Day: El Día de los Muertos and Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube. With her daughter, Libby Martinez, Pat also wrote I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! A literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls "bookjoy," Pat founded Children's Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros often known as Día. The year-long commitment promotes creatively linking all children and families to books and establishing annual April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations across the country. April 2017 was Día's 21st Anniversary. Pat's Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit.
A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular speaker who promotes creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. She’s the mother of three adult children and a sweet granddaughter. Pat is married to anthropology professor Vern Scarborough and lives in Santa Fe, NM.