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Carmen Tafolla is the Poet Laureate of Texas and the author of numerous works of poetry, short stories, and children’s books. She has devoted her year as Poet Laureate to teaching children in the poorest districts in Texas and empowering them to become writers.

She speaks passionately about the importance of creating a literary and educational culture that allows Mexican-American children to fully embrace their identity, and she underscores the importance of positive representations of Mexican-Americans in literature and film. Her poetry is both visceral and thoughtful, and Tafolla often performs these poems in character, allowing an audience to fully experience the poem. As part of this interview, Tafolla performs as Tere, a first-grader who is forced to change the pronunciation of her name.

Featured image of Carmen Tafolla (Photo by Magdalena Yznaga)