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NICHOLASA MOHR

BIOGRAPHY I BOOKS I PRESENTATIONS I BOOK ORDERING

Nicholasa Mohr was born in Manhattan 's El Barrio, of Puerto Rican parentage, and raised in the Bronx . >From 1988 through 1991, she was Distinguished Visiting Professor at Queens College/City University of New York, New York City. She was Writer-in-Residence at Richmond College, the American University in London from 1994 through 1995.

 

An author of short story collections, novels, plays, essays and numerous books for children, young adults and adults, Nicholasa's first novel NILDA was published in1974, since then she had written numerous books including, EL BRONX REMEMBERED, IN NUEVA YORK, FELITA, GOING HOME, RITUALS OF SURVIVAL: A WOMAN'S PORTFOLIO, GROWING UP INSIDE THE SANCTUARY OF MY IMAGINATION,  A MATTER OF PRIDE, which is a collection of stories for adults published by Arte Publico Press, THE SONG OF EL COQUÍ AND OTHER TALES OF PUERTO RICO, THE MAGIC SHELL/EL REGALO MAGICO, a children's novel published in both English and Spanish editions, and OLD LETIVIA AND THE MOUNTAIN OF SORROWS.

 

In 1995, The Richmond College Theater in London performed her play, I NEVER EVEN SEEN MY FATHER, based on one of her short stories from her book, IN NUEVA YORK

 

Nicholasa was awarded a grant  from the New York State Council on the Arts in 1999 to develop a musical based on her novel NILDA; the libretto was finished in 2000, and the project is still is under development. Henry St. Settlement House and Arts Abrons Arts Center NYC had several runs of stories, which had been adapted from the pages of EL BRONX REMEMBERED to the stage.  ZORAIDA, an adaptation of a story from her book, RITUALS OF SURVIVAL; A WOMAN'S PORTFOLIO, has had staged readings at Duo Theater, Henry Street Settlement and a weekend run at New Works Lab Series at Intar.

 

Nicholasa has been honored with a number of prestigious awards, including the Raul Julia Award by the Puerto Rican Family Institute in June 2007; Governor George E. Pataki's NYS Hispanic Heritage Month Award in 2006; Women of El Barrio, Woman of Substance Award in 2003; and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature in 1997. In 1998, she was named Honoree for Dedication to Puerto Rican Heritage by the Puerto Rican Heritage Committee, District 32 in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

 

In 1989, she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the State University of New York, Albany Campus, and when she was awarded this degree, they said of her work: "You, Nicholasa Mohr, have captured in your fiction an essential part of the diverse culture of this country. Your award winning work, created both for children and adults, paints a poignant picture of the Puerto Rican experience that has touched the hearts of all readers. You serve as witness and translator of the joys and sorrows, dreams and nightmares, defeats and victories of this immigrant group that, together with many others, has contributed to the pluralistic character of this country. Thus, you have enriched our understanding of our nation's and the struggles of its diverse peoples. For your artistic commitment and for the vivid tapestry of community you have woven into your work, the State University of New York confers upon you, Nicholasa Mohr, the degree of Doctor of Letters.

 

In 1989, GOING HOME was selected to be a Parent's Choice Remarkable Book for Literature; in 1985, it was named a Parent's Choice and also named a Notable Trade Book for Young People by the National Conference of Social Studies and the Children's Book Council.

 

Nicholasa also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Congress of Puerto Rican Women in Philadelphia in 1996, the American Book Award in 1981, and was a National Book Award finalist in 1976.

 

In Spring of 2001, Nicholasa moved back to El Barrio in New York City, where she continues to write books and plays for people of all ages. In September 2008 (9/17-30), Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center in New York City (telephone 212 260 4080 ext 11) will present her theater productions I NEVER EVEN SEEN MY FATHER and ONCE UPON A TIME. Current projects include a book of short stories and a screenplay based on her novella, HERMAN AND ALICE from EL BRONX REMEMBERED. As the CHICAGO TRIBUNE once described it, "[her] writing is serious, candid and sophisticated and the characters are memorable."