Pat Mora signs books at UTEP Thursday evening
Native El Paso Author to Receive Award
by Raymundo Eli Rojas
Some say that Pat Mora is the undisputed champion of Chicano(a) children literature. However, her journey to becoming a successful writer has been long and tedious.
Mora will receive the "Literary Legacy Award" at the 2nd Annual EPCC Literary Fiesta, today, Friday, Sept. 17, at 5:30pm at the EPCC Administrative Services Building, 9050 Viscount Blvd in East El Paso.
Born in El Paso, Texas, Mora was raised by her parents, grandmother, and her mother's half-sister. Mora's father was a local ophthalmologist. She receive her B.A. from then Texas Western College (now University of Texas at El Paso or UTEP) in 1963.
She later received her master from UTEP in 1967. She taught at many levels and even in college, but by 1981, she came to the realization that her long dream of becoming a writer needed more attention, and within a few years, she was winning awards for her poetry (NACCS Creative Writing Award 1983; New America: Women Artists and Writers of the Southwest Poetry Award; Harvey L. Johnson Boo Award, 1984).
Many of Mora's poetry works contain Border and Southwest themes, in addition to touching on “borderlands” in the Anzalduan sense. When she moved out the Southwest, her poetry took a different turn reflecting her travels and observation outside of her home region. Mora has also published books of essays and prose. It is in this genre that she expanded her “middlelands” observations, publishing Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle.
Mora has long been a critic of anthologized literature that does not reflect the United States' ethnic makeup. This moved her to write more young adult and children's fiction, a genre, that she has dominated. Not only has she excelled in children's picture books, but also brings poetry down to the level of children in order to spur a love of poetry in people at a young age.
Mora says, “I have very strong feelings that Chicano kids need good children's books, well illustrated, from big publishing houses, and that is something I would really like to work at” (This is about vision: Interviews with Southwestern Writers, Univ of New Mexico Press, 1990).
It is no doubt Mora has reaped what she has sown, as her name has become common place in both the Chicano, Latino, and non-ethnic children's literary world.
Of note, that while Mora was in the administration at the UTEP in the early 1980s, Tomas Rivera was also in the administration. Mora has written about Rivera in many her writing, most famous, Tomas and the Library Lady. Mora is the winner of a host of other awards. Her awards, bibliography, interviews and much more can be found at www.patmora.com.
The 2nd Annual EPCC Literary Festival with also feature writers and poets Carolina Monsivias, Selfa Chew, Lex Willaford, Maceo Dailey,
EPCC 2nd Annual Literary Festival
El Paso Community College will hold its second annual “Literary Fiesta” to celebrate area readers, writers and the publication of new books. Event will be in Building A at the college’s Administrative Services Center (ASC) at 9050 Viscount in East El Paso.
The literary fiesta, which is free and open to the public, will feature Literary Mercado Events, Literary Salon Events and a Final Celebration.
EPCC will hold an opening reception and award presentation from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, September 18 at ASC. The event will feature the presentation of EPCC’s “Literary Legacy Award” to author and educator Pat Mora.
Literary Mercado events will include a children’s corner, storytelling, arts & crafts, face painting, free books to all children, book sellers and food vendors.
Literary Salon events include:
9:30-10:45 a.m.- “Women Voices Rooted in El Chuco” will include reading by local and area authors including Christine Granados, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, Carolina Monsivais and Beatriz Terrazas.
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.- Conversation with Pat Mora, a nationally-recognized poet, author and educator.
12:30-1:45 p.m.- “Community Stories from El Paso and Beyond” Panel include Selfa Chew, Sr. Maceo Crenshaw Dailey, Jr., Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Lex Williford.
2:00-3:15 p.m.- Final Celebration: EPCC’s “Community Spirit Award” to Cinco Puntos Press for 25 years of publishing.
For additional information, please contact at (915) 831-2630.
Saturday, Sept. 18. Sasha Pimentel Chacon will sign her book of poetry, Inside She Swallowed (Westend Press), at 1pm at the Barnes & Noble, Westside, 1pmhref="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php">Share
Above photo by Richard Barron published in
"Under I-10: Life in Lincoln and La Roca"
in the El Paso Newspaper Tree
Sept. 19. Annual Lincoln Park Day starting at 11am. Under Spaghetti Bowl in El Paso. Music, lowriders, food.
Read "Under I-10: Life in Lincoln and La Roca" by Raymundo Eli Rojas