Carmen Tafolla was born on July 29, 1951 in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up, she demonstrated such talent and excellence in school. She is an alumnus of Austin College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French. She continued her post-graduate studies and earned a Master’s degree in Education a year after graduating from college. She pursued further studies later on and earned a Ph.D. in Bilingual and Foreign Education this time from the University of Texas. 

Carmen Tafolla’s career started in the academe. She was a member of the faculty and administration staff of various universities in the Southwest and eventually became the Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at Texas Lutheran College. Carmen has received many awards and recognition for her work such as Outstanding Young Women in America, Dictionary of International Biography, and Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century to name a few.  

Carmen started her career in literature as a poet. Her very first collection of poems that was published was entitled “Get Your Tortillas Together.” Her literary works were reflective of her Mexican decent and she made sure to feature Chicana culture and themes in almost all her writings emphasizing their strength and resiliency. She has also ventured into writing children’s books and memoirs. Tafolla has received various literary awards such as Tomas Rivera Mexican American Award for Children’s Books, Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, and Charlotte Zolotow Award for Best Children’s Picture Book. She also won first prize in the National Chicano Literary Contest.  

Carmen Tafolla is an internally recognized writer, educator, poet, and inspirational speaker. Some of Carmen Tafolla’s most acknowledged literary works are Sonnets for Human Beings, The Holy Tortilla and the Pot of Beans, What Can You Do with a Paleta?, Sonnets and Salsa, and This River Here: Poems of San Antonio.