Pat Mora Biography
Pat is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a literacy advocate and a popular presenter. Her new children's book is My Singing Nana, Magination Press. The University of Arizona Press published her seventh adult poetry collection, Encantado: Desert Monologues.
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.Pat’s poetry collections for children include Bookjoy, Wordjoy; Water Rolls, Water Rises; Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!; Confetti; and This Big Sky. Pat also wrote two collections for young adults, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love written in the voices of teens, and My Own True Name.
Among her other children’s books, many available in Spanish or bilingual editions, are Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart and Tomás and the Library Lady.
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.
With her daughter, Libby Martinez, Pat wrote I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! A literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls “bookjoy,” in 1996, she founded Children’s Day, Book Day, in Spanish, El día de los niños, El día de los libros, “Día.” Pat and her partners including the American Library Association and First Book nationally promote this year-long initiative of creatively linking all children and families to books and establishing annual April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations. Pat’s Book Fiesta captures this bookjoy spirit. April 30, 2020 will be the 24th anniversary of this initiative.
Born in El Paso, Texas to a loving, bilingual family, Pat lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She’s grateful for her three children, her enthusiastic six-year-old granddaughter, her husband, retired anthropology professor Vern Scarborough, and her readers. A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular speaker about creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. She is always working on new books.