Pat Mora Biography
Through her writing for all ages, presenting, and advocacy, Pat enjoys sharing what she calls bookjoy. The author of more than thirty-five award-winning children’s books, as well as poetry and nonfiction for adults and young people, Pat is also a literacy advocate who promotes creatively linking all children and families to books. In 1996, she founded Children’s Day, Book Day/El día de los niños, El día de los libros (nickname Día). 2017 was Día’s 21st Anniversary.
Many cultures have traditions for honoring their loved ones. In her recent book, The Remembering Day: El Día de los Muertos, Pat imagines how this custom may have started in Mexico. Other recent children's books include Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube and two books with her daughter, Libby Martinez, I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!. Among her other children's books, many available in Spanish or bilingual editions, are The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe; her haiku collection Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! and Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart.
She has published three books of adult nonfiction Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students, a writing memoir and innovation guide; House of Houses, a family memoir; and Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle. Her adult poetry inclues six collections, the most recent, Adobe Odes; two collections for teens, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love written in teen voices and My Own True Name.
Pat’s honors include the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and she delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture. She’s a Lifetime Member of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), an Honorary Member of the American Library Association, received National Leadership (Kellogg Foundation) and Poetry Fellowships (NEA), and Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo.
A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular speaker at conferences, campuses, libraries and schools. 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.