Walt Whitman Birthplace Association 1995 Poet in Residence
Joseph Bruchac lives in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the preservation of Abenaki culture, language and traditional Native skills, including performing traditional and contemporary Abenaki music with the Dawnland Singers.
He holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Syracuse and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. His work as a educator includes eight years of directing a college program for Skidmore College inside a maximum security prison. With his late wife, Carol, he founded the Greenfield Review Literary Center and The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry and fiction, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle's Back, Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award) and Returning the Gift. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review, Cricket and Aboriginal Voices to National Geographic, Parabola and Smithsonian Magazine. He has authored more than 120 books for adults and children.
His awards include American Book Award for Breaking Silence, Horn Book honor for The Boy Who Lived with the Bears, Scientific American Children’s Book Award for The Story of the Milky Way, and the Cherokee Nation Prose Award.
Information taken from the poet’s website.