September 15, 2010
Public Information Officer
The University of Texas at El Paso
915-747-7503 / 915-539-4677
UTEP Welcomes World-Renowned Writer
Award-winning author and scholar Pat Mora will return to her alma mater, The University of Texas at El Paso, to discuss her creative process, her advocacy of literacy and her life as a writer.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio will introduce Mora’s presentation, which will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Undergraduate Learning Center on Wiggins Road on the UTEP campus. The event will be followed by a reception and book-signing.
Mora, who was born and raised in El Paso, has is written more than 40 books and is recognized as a leading author of Chicano poetry and children’s literature.
The New York Times described Mora’s poetry collection, Agua Santa: Holy Water, as "proudly bilingual, an eloquent answer to purists who refuse to see language as something that lives and changes.” Her most recent collection is Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love, written in the voices of teens. Other collections include Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen's Book of Practical Saints, Communion, Borders and Chants.
“Pat Mora’s words resonate with us because she writes her own stories that are warmly familiar, heartfelt and inspiring,” said Patricia Armendariz, a UTEP English lecturer who organized the event.
Mora is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños / El día de los libros, Children's Day / Book Day (known as "Día"),which is celebrated on or near April 30 across the country. The annual event encourages children to read through book fairs, reading festivals and book giveaways. Some communities plan their events throughout the month of April or early May.
Mora received a bachelor’s in English in 1963 and a master’s in 1971 from UTEP. She taught Spanish and English in El Paso-area schools and El Paso Community College. She later served at UTEP in various capacities, including director of the Centennial Museum. She received honorary doctorates in letters from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo and is an honorary member of the American Library Association.
Mora has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry in 1994, UTEP’s 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. She received a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy and was a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.
Mora, who now resides in Santa Fe, N.M., is a popular national speaker at conferences, campuses, libraries and schools.
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