Poet and storyteller Joseph Bruchac was born in Greenfield Center, New York. He earned his BA from Cornell University, MA from Syracuse, and PhD in comparative literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. He is the author of more than 120 books for adults and children, including Tell Me a Tale: A Book About Storytelling (1997); The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story (1993); Keepers of the Earth (1988), which he coauthored with Michael Caduto; his autobiography, Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself (1997); and novels for young readers such as Dawn Land (1993) and The Heart of a Chief (1998).
In his work, Bruchac explores his Abenaki ancestry and Native American storytelling traditions. His honors and awards include fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Cherokee Nation Prose Award, a Knickerbocker Award, a Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children’s Literature, and both Writer of the Year and Storyteller of the Year awards from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.
Bruchac founded the Greenfield Review Literary Center and the Greenfield Review Press and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry and fiction, including Breaking Silence (1983), which won an American Book Award. Bruchac has performed across the United States and internationally and has been storyteller-in-residence for Native American schools, including the Institute of Alaska Native Arts and the Onondaga Nation School. He lives in the house where his maternal grandparents raised him, in Greenfield Center.