Today is the publication day for Encantado: Desert Monologues, Pat’s seventh adult poetry collection. Pat writes:
Ten years ago, I returned to Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. I became intrigued by writing short monologues with the hope of, perhaps, seeing the poems performed. I was also pondering the issues raised by Thornton Wilder in Our Town and the whole notion of “our town,” the public and private lives we live.
Life is complex. People often hide their deepest fears and feelings. My hope is that readers who like voices—hearing others—and who share my interest in others, their emotional journeys, like and unlike us, will find the time spent reading these poems and pondering them, well spent. I listened intently and then hoped to share what I heard from an assortment of people whose stories or lives snagged my interest.
In our celebrity culture, millions are spent to be seen, to be heard, to be interviewed, to be quoted. For the last ten years, I’ve been interested in the unsung voices of the people around us, those who won’t be on morning shows. I created a small city in the Southwest, Encantado, bordered by a river. A number of the speakers are in the habit of confiding in the river. All the speakers, living or spirits, address us directly.
A poem and a picture to celebrate the first day of autumn!
Poem & picture from Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube, by Pat Mora
and illustrated by Meilo So. Click for larger image.
To celebrate, here’s a poem about Tomás Rivera, the subject of Pat’s book Tomás and the Library Lady.
“¡Vámos! Let’s go to the library!”
Tomás says to his family.
He shows them his favorite books
and his cozy reading nooks.
“¡Vámos! Let’s go to the library!”
Tomás says to his friends. “Hurry!”
They see libros in stacks and rows.
They laugh at funny puppet shows.
“¡Vámos! Let’s all go to the library!”
Join the fun, a treasure house that’s free.
Bring your friends and family.
Stories, computers, maps and more.
Like Tomás, open books and soar.
Be a reader. Explore galore.
In memory of the leader, educator and author, Tomás Rivera
© 2005 by Pat Mora. This poem appears in Bookjoy, Wordjoy.
In 2018, September 9 is Grandparents Day. Why not share some bookjoy with your grandchildren?
Thanks to all at Mackin for featuring this interview with Pat about Bookjoy, Wordjoy, her newest book: Celebrating Bookjoy and Wordjoy With Award-Winning Poet and Literacy Advocate Pat Mora.
Mackin: You are a well-known literacy advocate who is highly sought after for presentations. In your presentations and publications, you regularly promote “bookjoy.” In fact, your newest book of children’s poetry is even called Bookjoy, Wordjoy (Lee and Low Books, 2018). What is “bookjoy” and how does one not only experience it, but also teach it and share it?
Pat: I tease that those of us who know bookjoy, who experience it daily, don’t need to have it defined. I enjoy the smiles from educators when I use the word. Good teaching, as we know, is an extremely complex talent. I am certainly indebted to the teachers who loved language and through their enthusiasm taught me to love words (wordjoy) and their possibilities too.
Primarily, we share by example and by understanding our students and audiences, their realities and their needs. We have different personalities and styles. Students of all ages quickly know when we care about them and want to help them learn and thrive.
Mackin: Surely your childhood must have been spent near books and reading. Did your parents prioritize literacy in your home? How did the adults in your life encourage you in your literacy development?
Childhood has many happy memories. Mom was always a reader. My parents had books for us including the Childcraft set and the World Book Encyclopedia. Mom also took us (I’m the oldest of four) to the El Paso Public Library. I loved the summer reading club, and my teachers were readers who shared that pleasure–bookjoy!
Read the rest of the interview here.
As a new school year begins, download and post to encourage parents to create a bookjoy family!
The last week in August is World Water Week, the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. It is organized by SIWI, the Stockholm International Water Institute. In 2018, World Water Week will address the theme “Water, ecosystems and human development”. In 2017, over 3,300 individuals and around 380 convening organizations from 135 countries participated in the Week.
Horn Book Magazine said of Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube: “…the poems speak to the wonders of water everywhere…”
Illustration by Meilo So from Water Rolls, Water Rises.