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Loved throughout the world for her moving performances and readings, Dr. Carmen Tafolla is a poet, storyteller, performance artist, motivational speaker, cultural activist, Professor Emeritus, and a native of San Antonio’s West Side barrio.


The author of 40 books, her work appears internationally in high school and university textbooks, newspapers, journals, magazines, and elementary school readers. Named State Poet Laureate of  Texas in 2015, Tafolla had also served from 2012-2014 as the first City Poet Laureate of San Antonio and presented at more than 300 schools, universities, professional conferences, and community arts centers in her two-year tenure. In 2018, she became the first Latina to be elected President of the Texas Institute of Letters.


Called by Roots author Alex Haley a “world-class writer”, Tafolla has 

received numerous awards, including the prestigious Américas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010, six International Latino Book Awards, two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, three ALA Notable Books, a Charlotte Zolotow Award, the Art of Peace Award, Top Ten Books for Babies, and has been recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives  voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”

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