Maurice Kenny was born on in Watertown, New York. His father is a Mohawk from Canada, and his mother was born in Upstate New York. The family spent time living both on and off the nearby reservation.
Kenny's father was a stern man, given to rough treatment of his son, and at 16 Maurice ran away from home, living in New York City for a brief period before returning home.
Maurice Kenny lives between Saranac Lake, and Potsdam. He occasionally teaches at North Country Community College, but currently is assigned courses at SUNY Potsdam.
Kenny was educated at Butler University, St. Lawrence University and New York University, where he studied with American poet Louise Bogan.
In 2002, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. In 2000, the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers awarded Kenny the Elder Recognition Award. In 1996, "On Second Thought" was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in fiction. In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate by St. Lawrence University. In 1983, "Wounds Beneath the Flesh" was awarded Bloomsbury review's best anthology. In 1984, "The Mama Poems" received the American Book Award. Kenny's 1982 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.
Kenny has held residencies at a number of colleges and universities.
Maurice Kenny, 1992, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1121499)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)
Maurice Kenny: Celebrations of a Mohawk Writer by Penelope Myrtle Kelsey and Joseph Bruchac
Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: SUNY Press (November 1, 2011)
Amazon: Maurice Kenny: Celebrations of a Mohawk Writer
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Explores the work of Maurice Kenny, a pivotal figure in American Indian literature from the 1950s to the present. This collection explores the broad range of works by Mohawk writer Maurice Kenny (1929–), a pivotal figure in American Indian literature from the 1950s to the present. Born in Cape Vincent, New York and the author of dozens of books of poetry, fiction, and essays, Kenny portrays the unique experience of Native New York and tells its history with poetic figures who live and breathe in the present. Perhaps his best known work is Tekonwatonti/Molly Brant: Poems of War. Kenny’s works have received various accolades and awards. He was recognized by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers with the Elder Achievement Award, and two of his collections of poems, Blackrobe and Between Two Rivers, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Kenny has also been honored with the American Book Award for The Mama Poems. His works have been recognized by National Public Radio, and have drawn the attention of famous figures such as Allen Ginsberg, Jerome Rothenberg, and Carolyn Forché. Maurice Kenny: Celebrations of a Mohawk Writer serves as a comprehensive introduction to Kenny’s body of work for readers who may be unfamiliar with his writing. Written by prominent scholars in American Indian literature, the book is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to musings on Kenny’s influence, and the second to traditional critical essays using historical, nationalist, Two Spirit, creative, memoir, and tribal-theoretical approaches. “The essays in this collection bear witness to [Kenny’s] ability to inspire others, his generosity of spirit, and the importance of his body of work as a significant part of the American literary canon.” — from the Foreword by Joseph Bruchac “This is a much-needed celebration of a seminal but understudied figure in modern American Indian/Iroquois literature.” — Donald A. Grinde Jr., editor of Native Americans.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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