Of Abenaki and French Canadian heritage, Cheryl Savageau was born in central Massachusetts. She graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and studied writing at the Worcester Free People’s Poets and Writers Workshop. She is the author of the poetry collections Home Country (1992), Dirt Road Home: Poems (1995) nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Mother/Land (2006).
Savageau writes about family, the unrecognized lives of women and the working class, and cultural survival. She retells Abenaki traditional stories, and reclaims the New England landscape as Native space. Her knowledge of lakes, ecology, and the importance of storytelling inform her children’s book Muskrat Will Be Swimming (1996), a winner of the Notable Book for Children Award from the Smithsonian and the Skipping Stones Book Award for Exceptional Multicultural and Ecology and Nature Books.
Savageau has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Arts Foundation. She has been a mentor to Native American writers through the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and received their Mentor of the Year award in 1999.
Read Professor Siobhan Senier’s write up about Cheryl in Dawnland Voices 2.0.