The author of more than 20 books, her work appears internationally in high school and university textbooks, newspapers, journals and magazines, and elementary school readers. She received a B.A. from Austin College in 1972, an M.A. from Austin College in 1973, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, in 1982. She has authored five books of poetry, eight children’s picture books, seven television screenplays, several non-fiction volumes, and a collection of short stories, The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans.