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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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."