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the expanding canon teaching multicultural literature
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Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Abiodun Oyewole Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Theory Overview Teaching Strategies Authors and Literary Works Resources
Session 1 Cultural Studies: Pat Mora and James Welch - Authors and Literary Works

Author: Pat Mora
Work: My Own True Name
Author: James Welch
Works: The Death of Jim Loney and "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat"

 

REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.

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Pat Mora

Pat Mora is a writer and activist who works to preserve and celebrate Mexican American literature. Descended from four grandparents who came to Texas from Mexico in the early twentieth century, Mora's bilingual and bicultural experiences inform all her work. She was born in El Paso in 1942, and is often called a regionalist for the way she portrays the physical grandeur and cultural richness of the Southwest.

The author of over 20 books of poetry, non-fiction and children's stories, Mora has received numerous honors for her work, including an NEA poetry fellowship, the Civitella Ranieri fellowship, four Southwest Book Awards, the Premio Aztlán Literature Award, the Ohioana Award, and the Pellicer-Frost 1999 Bi-national Poetry Award. She has also served as a consultant on U.S.-Mexico youth exchanges, a museum and university administrator, and a teacher of English at all levels. Mora is known as well for her promotion of "El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros," a celebration of books and children, languages and cultures, which takes place on April 30 each year. She has three grown children and divides her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and northern Kentucky.

"Family, Mexican American culture, and the desert are all important themes in my children's books as well as in my poetry and nonfiction for adults," writes Mora. Several of her children's works bring to life her personal family stories. In The Rainbow Tulip, Mora tells of her mother's bicultural experiences: "At home I'm Estelita. At school my name is Stella." In her memoirs and poetry, she introduces readers to her extended family and ponders the nature of her relationships with her relatives and ancestors.

The desert landscape provides a vibrant backdrop for much of Mora's work. She writes that she loves "the open spaces, the wide sky, all that sun and all those animals that scurry across the hot sand or fly high over the mountains." In her poem "Desert Women," Mora writes that "Desert women know / about survival," and, "like cactus," can hide behind thorns. But, she warns at the end of the poem, "Don't be deceived. / When we bloom, we stun."

Works by the Author

top NextWork: My Own True Name


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