Congratulations to the 2018 Mora Award winners!

Johnson City Library, in Johnson City, Texas, has received the 2018 Estela and Raúl Mora Award, an honor given by Pat and her sister, Stella Mora Henry, in partnership with First Book. The award recognizes literacy activities during the month of April in celebration of Children’s Day, Book Day; also known as El día de los niños, El día de los libros; or Día. Johnson City Library will receive a $1,000 credit for brand new books from the First Book Marketplace, as well as a Mora Award plaque to be displayed in their school.

Johnson City Library hosted dual celebrations, one for young children, families, and the local Head Start program; and another for the general public and the library’s own after school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. A total of 90 people attended the events, which included dancing, singing, reading, and food.

Johnson City event 2018

There were also two Mora Award honor winners that will receive $500 in credit to the First Book Marketplace: Watsonville Public Library in Watson, California, and Communities In Schools of Marietta/Cobb County Parents as Teachers program in Marietta, Georgia.

Read First Book’s press release.

Young Pat and family

Pat’s parents, Estela and Raúl Mora, her sister Cissy and Pat

Welcoming Pat’s Seventh Adult Poetry Collection

Encantado: Desert Monologues by Pat MoraToday 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.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Tomas and the Library Lady

To celebrate, here’s a poem about Tomás Rivera, the subject of Pat’s book Tomás and the Library Lady.

Library Magic
“¡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.