Pat Mora Biography
Pat Mora, an award-winning author of books for adults, teens and children, is a a literacy advocate and a popular presenter on creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. The University of Arizona Press published her seventh adult poetry collection, Encantado: Desert Monologues. Her other adult collections include Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen's Book of Practical Saints, Agua Santa: Holy Water, Communion, Borders and Chants.
The Washington Post described her acclaimed family memoir, House of Houses, as a "textual feast...a regenerative act...and an eloquent bearer of the old truth that it is through the senses that we apprehend love." Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students is both an epistolary memoir of her journey as a writer and is a writing creativity guide. Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle was reviewed as, "Twenty inspiring essays written in a very poetic prose...A valuable contribution to American literature."
Pat has written many children's books. Lee and Low Books published her 2018 children's poetry collection, Bookjoy, Wordjoy 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 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.
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," Pat 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. April 2020 is 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, Vern Scarborough, and her readers. A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is always working on new books.