Pat Mora Biography
The author of more than thirty-five award-winning children’s books, and 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 (Día). 2016 is Día’s 20th Anniversary. Pat’s Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit. She spoke about this initiative and her work at the 2016 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture.
Many cultures have traditions for honoring their loved ones. In her newest book, The Remembering Day: El Día de los Muertos, Pat imagines how this custom may have started in Mexico. Her 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.
Her awards include 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.
A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular speaker at conferences, campuses, libraries and schools. She has three adult children and a sweet Austin granddaughter. Pat is married to anthropology professor Vern Scarborough and lives in Santa Fe, NM.