Sneha Girap

Carmen Tafolla

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Name  Carmen Tafolla

Role  Writer
Carmen Tafolla College of Education and Human Development UTSA
Education  University of Texas at Austin
Books  What Can You Do with a Pal, What Can You Do With a Re, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of B, This River Here: Poems of, Sonnets and Salsa

Carmen tafolla la malinche

Carmen Tafolla (born 29 July 1951) is an internationally acclaimed Chicana writer from San Antonio, Texas, and a professor of Transformative Children's Literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Tafolla served as the poet laureate of San Antonio from 2012 to 2014, and was named the Poet Laureate of Texas for 2015-16. Tafolla has written more than twenty books, and won multiple literary awards. She is one of the most highly anthologized Chicana authors in the United States, with her work appearing in more than 40 anthologies.


Carmen Tafolla Carmen Tafolla Becoming is Superior to Being

i wanted to be a writer by carmen tafolla


Carmen Tafolla Carmen Tafolla The Poetry Foundation

Tafolla was born in San Antonio, Texas on 29 July 1951. She graduated from Austin College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French in 1973, and earned a Master’s degree in Education from Austin College the following year. She pursued further post-graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a PhD in Bilingual and Foreign Education in 1981. Tafolla has two children, and is married to Ernest Bernal.

Academic career

Carmen Tafolla wwwcarmentafollacomimagesCTMission20SJwebjpg

Tafolla served as the director of the Mexican-American studies center at Texas Lutheran College, Segun from 1973 to 1976, and from 1978 to 1979. She has been an associate professor of women’s studies at California State University, Fresno, and is currently an associate professor of education at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Tafolla first drew the attention of the literary world as a poet, when she read some of her poetry at the Floricanto Festival in Austin, Texas in 1975. She published her first collection of poetry, Get Your Tortillas Together the following year. Tafolla's poetry is heavily influenced by her ethnic background, and often focuses on Chicana characters, or on themes and images which are important to Chicano culture. Critics such as Yolanda Broyles-Gonzales have noted that Tafolla's female characters often display great inner strength, exhibiting what Broyles-Gonzales refers to as "an indomitable will to endure and survive" even in the most adverse situations.


  • Get Your Tortillas Together, with Reyes Cardenas and Cecilio Garcia-Camarillo. 1976.
  • Curandera M & A Editions, 1983. Illustrated by Thelma Ortiz Muraida.
  • Curandera: 30th Anniversary Edition. Afterword by the author and a new Foreword by professor Norma E. Cantú. Wings Press, 2012.
  • Rebozos, illustrated with paintings by Carolina Gárate, Wings Press, 2012.
  • Sonnets to Human Beings, and Other Selected Works, Lalo Press, 1992.
  • Sonnets and Salsa, Wings Press, 2001.
  • This River Here: Poems of San Antonio, Wings Press, 2015.
  • Children's books

  • Baby Coyote and the Old Woman / El coyotito y la viejita. Illustrated by Matt Novak. Wings Press, 2000.
  • The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans: A Feast of Short Fiction. Wings Pess, 2008.
  • What Can You DO with a Paleta?, 2009
  • What Can You DO with a Rebozo?, 2008
  • Fiesta Babies
  • Other works

  • To Split a Human: Mitos, machos, y la mujer chicana. Mexican American Cultural Center of San Antionio, 1975.
  • A Life Crossing Borders: Memoir of a Mexican-American Confederate, English translation by Fidel Tafolla, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 2009. (Edited by Carmen Tafolla and Laura Tafolla)
  • Awards

    Tafolla has received multiple literary awards:

  • National Chicano Literary Contest, University of California Irivine. First Prize (1987) - Awarded for Sonnets to Human Beings.
  • Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Award for Children’s Books (2009) - Awarded by the Texas State University College of Education for The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans
  • Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature (2010). Awarded by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) for What Can You DO with A Paleta?
  • Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Award for Children’s Books (2010) - Awarded by the Texas State University College of Education for What Can You DO with a Paleta?
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award for Best Children's Picture Book (2010) - Awarded for What Can You DO with A Paleta?
  • References

    Carmen Tafolla Wikipedia

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