March 7, 2019
Author, speaker, educator, and literacy advocate Pat Mora had a whirlwind weekend at the Tucson Festival of Books. Her weekend started off with a panel exploring ways to bring the joy of poetry to children, moderated by Tucson’s own Jennifer Flores. Next she joined Tucson poets Logan Philips, Mele Martinez, and Mari Herreras for a community reading of her latest collection, Encantado.
Inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Mora’s Encantado paints a vivid portrait of a community through its inhabitants’ own diverse voices.
Each poem forms a story that reveals the complex and emotional journeys we take through life. Mora shares the thoughts of Encantado’s residents—the mothers and sisters, brothers and fathers in whom we see slivers of ourselves and our loved ones—and brings us to the heart of what it means to join in a chorus of voices. A community.
Mora was thrilled to partner with Tucson’s own unique poetic voice. “I have always wanted to hear Encantado, the voices performed by a community of poets,” said Mora after the panel.
Before heading back to Santa Fe, Mora was honored to be the keynote speaker for the University of Arizona Libraries’ Annual Luncheon. She read poems from Encantado and spoke to the importance of libraries. She told the audience, “Supporting university libraries is noble work—they are treasure houses.”
Mora has dedicated her life to inspiring readers of all ages. She is the founder of Children’s Day, Book Day/El día de los niños, El día de los libros, an internationally recognized celebration of reading. Through all of her work, Mora promotes creativity, inclusivity, and what she calls, “bookjoy.”