An enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, poet Deborah Miranda was born in Los Angeles to an Esselen/Chumash father and a mother of French ancestry. She grew up in Washington State, earning a BS in teaching moderate special-needs children from Wheelock College in 1983 and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington. Miranda’s collections of poetry include Indian Cartography: Poems
(1999), winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas; and The Zen of La Llorona
(2005), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Miranda also received the 2000 Writer of the Year Award for Poetry from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.
Miranda’s poetry is informed by her mixed-blood ancestry and knowledge of the natural world. Often focused around gender, her poetry treats topics such as mothering and the ability to nurture in a violent world. The Zen of Llorona
references the legend of La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman, an Indian woman who bears children to a Spaniard; when betrayed, she kills the children and then lives a life of mourning.
Miranda’s work has appeared in the anthologies Through the Eye of the Deer
(1999), This bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation
(2002), The Dirt Is Red Here: Art & Poetry from Contemporary Native California
(2002), and Women: Images and Realities—A Multicultural Anthology
She teaches English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
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Poems by Deborah A. Miranda
Poems By DEBORAH A. MIRANDA