Arte Publico

Classical 91.7-Arte Público Author of the Month: Pat Mora

Pat Mora has been selected as this month's Classical 91.7/Arte Público Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, Classical 91.7's Eric Ladau spoke with Ms. Mora.


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Pat Mora will be appearing in Houston on April 21 at Discovery Green to celebrate the children’s literacy event DIA.  More information can be found here.


Award-winning author of more than forty volumes of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s picture books, Pat Mora promotes connecting communities through literature and literacy. A native of El Paso, the border city to which her grandparents came during the Mexican Revolution, she speaks often at conferences, universities, and schools about creative writing, leadership, diversity, heritage and multicultural education.                         

“Ms. Mora’s poems are proudly bilingual, an eloquent answer to purists who refuse to see language as something that lives and changes,” wrote The New York Times of Pat Mora’s poetry collection, Agua Santa: Holy Water.  Her most recent collection is Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love (Knopf, 2010) written in the voices of teens.  Other collections include Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen’s Book of Practical Saints and four published by Arte Público Press: Communion, Borders, Chants and My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults.

The Washington Post described her acclaimed 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.”  Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle was reviewed by Choice as, “Twenty inspiring essays written in a very poetic prose…A valuable contribution to American literature.”

Pat received Honorary Doctorates in Letters from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo and is an Honorary Member of the American Library Association.  Among her other awards are the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy.  She was a Visiting Carruthers Chair at the University of New Mexico, a recipient and judge of the Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

A former teacher, university administrator, consultant and the author of many award-winning children’s books, Pat is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños / El día de los libros, Children’s Day / Book Day (Día), now housed at the American Library Association.  The year-long commitment to linking all children to books, languages and cultures, and of sharing what Pat calls “bookjoy,” culminates in celebrations across the country in April.

Pat is a popular national speaker at conferences, campuses, libraries and schools. The mother of three adult children, Pat is married to Vern Scarborough and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  For further information, visit .