Pat Mora

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree: Ms. Pat Mora is an award-winning Hispanic author of nonfiction, poetry and children’s books. She was born in El Paso, Texas and earned her Bachelor of Arts from Texas Western College in 1963 and Master’s from the University of Texas, El Paso in 1967. While Pat is known more for her literary works, she also has taught at the secondary and college levels, worked as a museum director and has been a consultant on U.S.-Mexico youth exchanges. She is the founder of the family literacy initiative, “El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, Children’s Day/ Children’s Book Day,” now housed at the American Library Association. Pat’s literacy initiative is committed to linking all children to books, languages and cultures. Her work is shaped by the U.S. – Mexico border where she was born and spent much of her life. “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 Agua Santa: Holy Water, Pat’s collection now reprinted by The University of Arizona Press. Pat’s poetry collections include Adobe Odes, Aunt Carmen’s Book of Practical Saints, Agua Santa: Holy Water, Communion, Borders, and Chants. She also has published a memoir, House of Houses, and Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle. Pat’s work also has received praise from The Washington Post, which 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.” A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Pat has received numerous awards, including the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award and a 2003 Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, which provided her the opportunity to write in Umbria, Italy. She has served as a Visiting Carruthers Chair at the University of New Mexico, was a recipient and judge of the Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, has been a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships. In 2006, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from the State University in New York, Buffalo. Pat is the mother of three grown children. She and her husband Dr. Vernon Scarborough live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.