Pat Mora Biography
Teen Literature

Pat Mora“No one has felt like this. Ever.” So thinks a teen in Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love, Pat’s second collection for young adults. Pat also wrote My Own True Name and seven poetry collections for adults: Encantado: Desert Monologues, Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen’s Book of Practical Saints, Agua Santa: Holy Water, Communion, Borders and Chants. The New York Times wrote that “Ms. Mora’s poems are proudly bilingual, an eloquent answer to purists who refuse to see language as something that lives and changes.”

Her nonfiction books for adults include her acclaimed memoir, House of Houses, Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students and Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle.

Among her awards are honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, an honorary membership in the American Library Association, a life-time achievement award from the Texas Institute of Letters, a Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, a 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.

Pat’s many children’s books include Bookjoy, Wordjoy. With her author/lawyer daughter, Libby Martinez, she 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, in Spanish, El día de los niños, El día de los libros, “Día.” This year-long commitment promotes creatively linking all children and families to books and establishing annual April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations. April 2020 is Día’s 24th anniversary. Pat’s Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit.

A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular national speaker who promotes creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. She has three adult chilren and a sweet granddaughter. Pat is married to anthropology professor Vern Scarborough and lives in Santa Fe, NM.