Earlier this month, the city of San Antonio, Texas inaugurated its first Poet Laureate, UTSA scholar Dr. Carmen Tafolla. Tafolla, currently the university’s writer-in-residence for Children’s, Youth, and Transformative Literature was selected by Mayor Julián Castro for her influential body of work and her accomplishments as an educator and poet.
A San Antonio native, Tafolla is regarded as a pioneer in Chicana literature. Honored by the U.S. Library of Congress in 2010, her other accolades include “two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, two ALA Notable Books, a Charlotte Zolotow, the Art of Peace Award, Top Ten Books for Babies, and recognition by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land,” according to her webpage.
As highlighted in her UTSA bio, Tafolla’s work has appeared in over 200 anthologies, readers, journals, textbooks and more, making her one of the most highly anthologized of Latina writers. Though one place Tafolla’s work is not appearing is in classrooms in Tucson, Arizona, where her work Curandera, published in 1993, was placed on the school district’s banned book list. (But that just makes us want to search it out at our local library even more.) Find out more about her prose and poetry here or watch her discuss her writing technique in the video below.
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