News Release - May 7, 2009

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2009

Contacts: Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282

Award-Winning Poet, Author and Literacy Advocate Pat Mora to Speak at the 13th Annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture

That night, bumping along in the tired old car, Tomás held a shiny new book, a present from the library lady. Papá Grande smiled and said, “More stories for the new storyteller.”

— Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora

Poet, author and literacy advocate Pat Mora, who is the founder of Día: El día de los niños/El día de los libros, a nationwide celebration of children and books, will be featured at San Francisco Public Library’s 13th Annual Effie Lee Morris lecture on June 2.

Mora, the author of more than 25 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults, embraces her Mexican-American heritage in her work; her poetic vision explores our borders both literally and figuratively. She writes about the myriad treasures of her cross-cultural background in poetry, essays and richly diverse children’s literature. Her work speaks to and about children – especially the bilingual, bicultural child – while addressing the dearth of multicultural books published today.

Mora will talk about her work and life as a writer in her lecture, “Bookjoy, The Zing of Writing,” at the 13th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture at 6 p.m. on June 2 in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library. A book signing will precede the lecture at 5 p.m.

“I'm delighted to participate in an event that honors Effie Lee Morris and look forward to chatting with San Francisco book lovers,” said Mora.

Mora’s work includes the memoir, House of Houses, the poetry collection, Aunt Carmen’s Book of Practical Saints, and the children’s book, Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman With a Great Big Heart, which won the Pura Belpré Honor Award, the Golden Kite Award and was named an American Library Association Notable Book.

Mora is a popular national speaker and appears often at conferences, universities and schools to talk about her books, literacy and leadership. Her honors include honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, honorary membership in the American Library Association, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy; and a Visiting Carruthers Chair at the University of New Mexico. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

The Effie Lee Morris Lecture was established in 1996 to expand upon the idea of looking at children through their literature. The series is named in honor of Effie Lee Morris, who was the first coordinator of children’s services at the San Fran¬cisco Public Library from 1963 to 1977. As one of the pioneer children’s services leaders in the country, Morris was responsible for the development of the broad range of Library services now available to the children of San Francisco. She also developed the children’s historical and research collection—which is also named in her honor—to meet the needs of Bay Area researchers studying our view of children and their world as reflected in the books written for them.

The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, call (415) 557-4277.

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