Biography of
Joyce Carol Thomas

Ms. Thomas was a young girl once, too!

JOYCE CAROL THOMAS, the middle child of nine children, was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma. One of her earliest memories is hiding under the house to be alone where she could make up songs and poetry and plays, even though her pencil could only scribble what her three-year-old mind imagined in such vivid colors. At five, she started kindergarten at Attucks School.
At Attucks, the school librarian gave young Joyce armfuls of books to read, and her teachers encouraged her early writing. At church, too, she loved the musical rhythms of the Biblical passages of "Psalms" and "Song of Solomon." When she was ten, Joyce moved with her family to Tracy, California, where she attended public schools. In the summertime, she helped support her family by picking grapes, onions, and tomatoes, and occasionally found time to enjoy her favorite sport, archery. Ms. Thomas went on to receive her Master of Arts degree in Education from Stanford University, and she encourages all young people to further their education and follow their dreams, wherever they may lead.
Because she wanted to pass along to the young the endless wonders of learning, Ms. Thomas spent many happy years teaching and encouraging students, including those in junior high schools and universities. She taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz before retiring as a full professor from the University of Tennessee. Ms. Thomas now focuses her energies on writing and dedicating her books to children and teenagers, finding through her poetry/picture books, novels, and short stories yet another joyous, creative way to teach and to learn.
One of Ms. Thomas' hobbies these days is gardening. "In my backyard is a young corkscrew birch tree. I am charmed as I watch it bend over a nearby pond. Its wavy branches remind me of scribbling. Sometimes I sit outside beside the tree and write. It was near this tree that I dedicated my newest book, I Have Heard of a Land."
Another of Ms. Thomas' passions is music. "I love all kinds of music: gospel, opera, jazz, pop, hip hop! I delight in rhyme and rhythm and joyful sounds!"
A member of both the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Joyce Carol Thomas has won many awards for her writing, including the Poet Laureate for Life Award from Oklahoma State University, and both the National Book Award and the American Book Award for her first novel, "Marked By Fire." She now resides in Berkeley, California, where she continues to write as energetically and enthusiastically as ever.
Joyce Carol Thomas may be available for a limited number of author appearances.
For information regarding her schedule and fees, please contact:
Joyce Pinkney via any of the following methods:
E-mail: Fax: (510) 848-4432
Books of Poems and Pictures:
Novels and Short Stories:
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