Maurice Kenny


Maurice Kenny, Mohawk, was born in Watertown, NY in 1929. He was educated at Butler University, St. Lawrence University and New York University, where he studied with the eminent American poet, Louise Bogan. In the 1950's he took up residence in New York City for several years. In the early to mid-60's he lived in Mexico and the Virgin Islands, moving to Chicago for one year. From Chicago he moved to Brooklyn where he lived until his recent return to the Adirondack country of upstate New York.

He has been the co-editor of the literary review magazine Contact/II as well as the editor/publisher of Strawberry Press. He has also been poetry editor of Adirondac Magazine, Poet-in-Residence at North Country Community College, near his home in Saranac Lake, NY and Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, OK, the En'owkin Center at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia and at Paul Smith's College.

Maurice's work has been published in almost 100 journals, including special issues on Native American writing such as Trends, the Scottish journal from Paisley College, the Calaloo special issue on Native American writing, and World Literature Today. Other journals include American Indian Quarterly, Blue Cloud Quarterly, Wicazo Sa Review, Saturday Review, and the New York Times.

Maurice has been involved in several radio, television and film productions, among which are Dug-Out in 1990, commissioned by New American Radio. Other productions include Reno Hill . . . Little Big Horn written especially for John Rouillard and NBC-TV in San Diego for the Custer Centennial, Handing the Baton, composed and voiced over by Maurice for the animated film by Judy Fogelman and the Museum of Modern Art and Poems, Poets and the Song with Charles Osgood on CBS TV.

Among the panels on which he has served are the New York Foundation for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Arts Recognition and Talent Search for the Educational Testing Service. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, the New York Foundation for the Arts and WSLU-FM. He has coordinated the Iroquois Arts Festival at Saranac Lake, Writer's Week at Tupper Lake, among other events. He has been Director of The Little Gallery and is currently art director of the Blue Moon Cafe, both in Saranac Lake.

He recently toured with Carolyn Forché for the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Foundation Writer's Network through the auspices of Just Buffalo.

A short biography from the Internet Public Library's Native American Author's Project is available.

Writing available online

Friendship Days at Akwesasne
Greyhounding to Billings, Montana
Going Home
New Amsterdam, 1652
On Second Thought
Reading Poems in Public
In Name Only   .   .   . : A Review
I Do Not Waste What Is Wild   .   .   . Louis (Little Coon) Oliver
Photograph: Carlisle Indian School (1879-1918) from ASAIL
Heard: Somewhere in the Southwest from ASAIL
Eva (Just above the previous poem in ASAIL).
A selection from the story Rain
A review of Gogisgi/ Carroll Arnett's book Night Perimeter: New and Selected Poems.


In 2000, Maurice received the Elder Recognition Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers In 1996 On Second Thought was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in fiction.

Maurice's book of poems, Blackrobe : Isaac Jogues, B. March 11, 1607, D. October 18, 1646 was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, as was Between Two Rivers. He is the recipient of a National Public Radio Award for Broadcasting. His book The Mama Poems received the American Book Award in 1984. The Bloomsbury Review cited Wounds Beneath the Flesh as the best anthology of 1983.

Maurice has held residencies at the American Indian Community House in New York City, the Oneida Indian Nation of Wisconsin, the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Gettysburg College and St. Lawrence University, and been a guest speaker and featured writer innumerable times. His most recent residencies include the Silver Bay Association (The Writer's Voice), supported by the Bingham and Lannan Foundations, a NYSCA Writer Residency at the Syracuse Community Writers and a residency in "Women's Studies / Creative Writing" at SUNY Fredonia, NY.

Maurice has also been honored with an honorary doctorate by St. Lawrence University in 1995.

Books by Maurice Kenny or containing his work

Poetry       icon

Carving Hawk: New & Selected Poems 1953-2000, White Pine Press.
In the Time of the Present: New Poems, Michigan State University Press.
Tekonwatonti/Molly Brant (1735-1795 : Poems of War), White Pine Press.
Wounds Beneath the Flesh, (Editor), White Pine Press.
Last Mornings in Brooklyn, Point Riders Press.
Review by Roger Weaver in ASAIL
Blackrobe : Isaac Jogues, B. March 11, 1607, D. October 18, 1646 : Poems, Chauncy Press.
Greyhounding This America, Heidelberg Graphics. (Illustrations by Wendy Rose)
Review by Robert F. Gish in ASAIL
Between Two Rivers : Selected Poems, 1956-1984, White Pine Press.
The Short and Long of It, University of Arkansas Press, 1990.
Humors and/or Not So Humorous, Swift Kick Press, 1988.
The Mama Poems, White Pine Press.
Is Summer This Bear, Chauncy Press.
The Smell of Slaughter, Blue Cloud Quarterly Press, 1982.
Boston Tea Party, Soup Press, 1982. (Illustrations by Wendy Rose)
Kneading the Blood, Strawberry Press.
Dancing Back Strong the Nation : Poems, White Pine Press. (Introduction by
Paula Gunn Allen)
I Am the Sun, Strawberry Press.
Only As Far As Brooklyn, Good Gay Poets, 1979.
North: Poems of Home, Blue Cloud Quarterly Press, 1977.
Dead Letters Sent and other poems, Troubador Press, 1958.
And Grieve, Lesbia, Aardvark Press, 1960.
With Love to Lesbia, Aardvark Press, 1959.
The Hopeless Kill, Watertown Daily Times, 1956.

Prose       icon

Tortured Skins and Other Fictions, Michigan State University Press.
Stories for a Winter's Night, 1999, Maurice Kenny (Editor), A. Lavonne Ruoff (Introduction),
Consortium Book Sales & Distribution.
Tortured Skins and Other Fictions, 2000, Michigan State University Press.
Backward to Forward, 1997, White Pine Press.
On Second Thought : A Compilation, 1995, (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies,
Vol 18), Univ of Oklahoma Press.
Rain and Other Fictions, White Pine Press.

Anthologies       icon

Genocide of the Mind, Marijo Moore (Editor), Thunder's Mouth Press.
From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002,
Ishmael Reed (Editor), Thunder's Mouth Press.
Visit Teepee Town : Native Writings After the Detours, Diane Glancy, Mark Nowak (Editors), Coffeehouse Press.
Particular Voices, Robert Giard, MIT Press.
MIT Press page on Particular Voices
Indian Summer issue of phati'tude
Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions : A Celebration of Contemporary Six Nations Arts,
(Native American Arts Series), Bertha Rogers (Editor), Bright Hill Press.
The Word Thursdays Anthology, Bertha Rogers (Editor), Bright Hill Press.
Native Time : An Historical Timeline of Native America, Lee Francis, St. Martins Press.
Durable Breath : Contemporary Native American Poetry, John E. Smelcer, D. L. Birchfield
(Editors), Salmon Run Pub.
Celebrate America : In Poetry and Art, Nora Panzer (Editor), Hyperion.
Contemporary Authors. Autobiography Series (V 22. Issn 0748-0636), Gale Research.
Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival
(Sun Tracks Books, No 29) University of Arizona Press. (Hardcover)
On Prejudice; A Global Perspective, Daniela Gioseffi (Editor), Anchor Books.
Smoke Rising : The Native North American Literary Companion, Janet Witalec,
Visible Ink Press.
More Light : Father & Daughter Poems a Twentieth-Century American Selection,
Jason Shinder (Editor), Harcourt Brace.
The Continuing Presence of Walt Whitman : The Life After the Life,
Robert K. Martin (Editor), University of Iowa Press.
All My Relations : An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Native Fiction,
(American Indian Literature and Critical Studies, Vol. 4), Thomas King (Editor), University of Oklahoma Press. (Original edition published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, Inc.)
Earth Song, Sky Spirit : Short Stories of the Contemporary Native American Experience,
1993, Clifford E. Trafzer (Editor), Doubleday.
Blue Dawn, Red Earth : New Native American Storytellers, by Clifford E. Trafzer
(Editor), Anchor Books
Exemplar of Liberty : Native America and the Evolution of Democracy,
1991, (Native American Politics Series ; No. 3), Donald A. Grinde. American Indian Studies Center, UCLA Press.
Braided Lives : An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing,
Minnesota Humanities Commission Staff (Editor), Minnesota Humanities Commission.
American Indian Literature : An Anthology, Alan R. Velie (Editor),
University of Oklahoma Press.
Gay Roots : 20 Years of Gay Sunshine : An Anthology of Gay History, Sex,
Politics, and Culture, Winston Leyland (Editor), Gay Sunshine Press.
Circle of Motion : Arizona Anthology of Contemporary American Indian Literature,
K. Sands (Editor), Arizona Historical Foundation. (Hardcover)
American Indian Literatures: an Introduction, Bibliographic Review and Selected Bibliography,
A. LaVonne Ruoff, Modern Language Association of America.
An Ear to the Ground : An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry,
Marie Harris, Kathleen Aguero (Editors), University of Georgia Press.
Off the Shelf : A Marketing and Distribution Guide for Independent Literary and
Artist Book Publishers Joan Murray, Writers & Books.
Gatherings III, Theytus Books.
Greywolf Annual, 1991, Greywolf Press.
Open Lines, 1989, St. Martin's Press.
North Country Literature, St. Lawrence University Press.
Talking Leaves : Contemporary Native American Short Stories
by Craig Lesley, Katheryn Stavrakis (Editor) Dell Books
The Norton Anthology of Poetry, by Margaret Ferguson (Editor), Mary Jo Salter (Editor),
Jon Stallworthy, 4th Edition , W W Norton & Co.
New Worlds of Literature : Writings from America's Many Cultures
by Jerome Beaty (Editor), J. Paul Hunter (Editor), W W Norton & Co.
River of dreams : American poems from the St. Lawrence Valley, Glover Pub.
New Voices from the Longhouse, Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press.
North Country: An Anthology of Contemporary Writing from the Adirondacks and the
Upper Hudson Valley, Joseph Bruchac, Alice Gilborn, Jean Rikhoff (Editors), Greenfield Review Press.
Art Against Apartheid Works for Freedom, Alice Walker, Ikon.
Brooklyn Fiction, 1987, Borough of Brooklyn.
Living the Spirit, 1989. St. Martin's Press.
Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry
by Duane Niatum (Editor) HarperCollins
Generations of Resistance, 1985, Indigena Press.
Words in the Blood : Contemporary Indian Writers of North and South America,
Jamake Highwater (Editor), New American Library.
ABC No Rio Dinero, Alan Moore, Pub Center Cultural Resources.
Alive Now, 1984, The Upper Room Press.
Voices Against The Wilderness, 1984, Black Cardinal Press.
The Clouds Threw This Light, 1983, IAIA Press.
Earth Power Coming : Short Fiction in Native American Literature
Ed. by Simon J. Ortiz, Navajo Community College Press.
Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back : An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
by Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press.
A Nation Within, 1983, Outrigger's Press, New Zealand.
America's Anthology, 1983, New Rivers Press.
The Son of the Male Muse, Ian Young (Editor), Crossing Press.
Native American Writing, 1982, Greenfield Review Press.
Singing in the Dawn, 1980, Heritage Press.
The Remembered Earth : An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature
by Geary Hobson (Editor), University of New Mexico Press.
From the Hudson to the World, 1978, Hudson River Clearwater.
For the Time Being, 1978, Beil Press.
On Turtle's Back: A Biogeographic Anthology of New York State Poetry,
Dennis Maloney (Editor), White Pine Press, 1978.
Orgasms of Light Gay Sunshine Anthology, Winston Leyland (Editor), Gay Sunshine Press.
From the Belly of the Shark: A New Anthology of Native Americans,
Walter, Comp. Lowenfels (Editors), Random House.


The Heath Introduction to Poetry, Joseph De Roche (Editor), D C Heath & Co.
English Teacher's Portfolio of Multicultural Activities :
Ready-To-Use Lessons & Cooperative Activities for Grades 7-12, John Edwin Cowen, Center for Applied Research in Education.
Western Wind : An Introduction to Poetry, John Frederick Nims, McGraw Hill Textbook.

Published Interviews with or Essays on Maurice    

Native American Writers of the United States, (Dictionary of Literary Biography, V. 175),
Kenneth M. Roemer (Editor), Gale Research.
Historian of Home: A Talk with Maurice Kenny, with M. Nowak, River City Press, 1997.
He Walks in Two Worlds: An Interview with Maurice Kenny, E. Grant, 1995,
Studies in American Indian Literature, 7, 17.
I Tell You Now : Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers
by Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat, Brompton Books Corp.
Contemporary Literary Criticism : Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Today's Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Short Story Writers, Scriptwriters,
Christopher Giroux, Gale Research.
Survival This Way : Interviews With American Indian Poets
Joseph Bruchac III (Editor), (Sun Tracks Books, No 15) University of Arizona Press
Coyote Was Here: essays on contemporary Native American literary
and political mobilization, Bo Scholer (Editor), Aarhus, Denmark.
North Country Authors: Maurice Kenny, Radio Interview with Chris Shaw,
WSLN-FM, National Public Radio.

Work published in Translation

In To Retrieve the Practice of the Wild: An Ethnopoetical Anthology, in Hermes #32,
translated by Keijiro Suga.
Selections, 1988, Korky Institute, Russia.
Native American Poetry, (in Frisian), 1985, The Netherlands.
Necha Oa Octpobot Ha Hankata, (in Croatian), 1982, Yugoslavia.
les cahiers de poesie recontres, 1989, Lyon, France.
L'Arbre A Paroles, 1989, France.
Literatura Na Swiecie, 1989, Poland.
Die Erde Est Einetrommel, 1990, Austria.
Parole Nel Snque, 1991, Milan, Italy.
Anthology of North American Indian Writing, 1991, Italy.
Tawcin, 1991, Poland.
In Nature's Heartbeat: Literature by Native Americans, 1992, Moscow.
Kreisender Adker Singender Stern, 1996, Kerle, Germany.
Tawcin: Pismo Przyjaciol Indian, 1997, Wiosna, Poland.

In Association with

This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Maurice Kenny. The website "author" is Karen M. Strom.

© 1997 Maurice Kenny and Karen Strom.

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