Terra Trevor is an essayist and the author of two memoirs, We Who Walk the Seven Ways (University of Nebraska Press), and Pushing up the Sky (Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network). She is a contributor to fifteen books in Native studies, Native literature, nonfiction and memoir. Her essays have appeared in many anthologies including: Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits (University of New Mexico Press), Children of the Dragonfly: Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education (The University of Arizona Press), The People Who Stayed: Southeastern Indian Writing After Removal (University of Oklahoma Press), Unpapered: Writers Consider Native American Identity and Cultural Belonging (University of Nebraska Press), Voices Confronting Pediatric Brain Tumors (Johns Hopkins University Press), Take A Stand: Art Against Hate: A Raven Chronicles Anthology, and in numerous other books and literary journals. 
 
Terra is the granddaughter of sharecroppers, born in 1953, and raised in a large extended family in a banjo and fiddle tradition, rich with storytelling and music. She came of age in Compton, California, where her childhood was divided between the city and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains, pulling dinner from a lake. Of mixed descent, including Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca and German, her stories are steeped in themes of place and belonging, and are shaped and infused by her identity as a mixed-blood and her connection to the landscape. She lives with her family on the California coast, based between the ocean and redwoods, and calls the mountains home. 

Photo courtesy of author 

Books by Terra Trevor, and containing her work

University of Nebraska Press

We Who Walk the Seven Ways is Terra Trevor’s memoir about seeking healing and finding belonging. After she endured a difficult loss, a circle of Native women elders embraced and guided Trevor (mixed-blood Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca, and German) through the seven cycles of life in their Indigenous ways. Over three decades, these women lifted her from grief, instructed her in living, and showed her how to age from youth into beauty. 

With tender honesty, Trevor explores how the end is always a beginning. Her reflections on the deep power of women’s friendship, losing a child, reconciling complicated roots, and finding richness in every stage of life show that being an American Indian with a complex lineage is not about being part something, but about being part of something. Read more

 



"Terra Trevor’s Pushing up the Sky is a revelation of the struggles and triumphs packed into the hyphens between Korean and Native American and American. From her, we learn that adoption can best be mutual, that the adoptive parent needs acculturation in the child’s ways. With unflinching honesty and unfailing love, Trevor details the risks and heartaches of taking in, the bittersweetness of letting go, and the everlasting bonds that grow between them all. With ‘Pushing up the Sky’, the ‘literature of adoption’ comes of age as literature, worthy of an honored place in the human story." Read More

—Robert Bensen, editor of Children of the Dragonfly: Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education

University of Nebraska Press

Unpapered, edited by Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez, is a collection of personal narratives by Indigenous writers exploring the meaning and limits of Native American identity beyond its legal margins. 

University of New Mexico Press 
 
Tending the Fire by photographer Christopher Felver with an introduction by Linda Hogan and a foreword by Simon J. Ortiz, celebrates the poets and writers who represent the wide range of Native American voices in literature today. In these commanding portraits, Felver’s distinctive visual signature and unobtrusive presence capture each artist’s strength, integrity, and character. Accompanying each portrait is a handwritten poem or prose piece that helps reveal the origin of the poet’s language and legends.

NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES ON CHILD CUSTODY AND EDUCATION
The University of Arizona Press 

Children of the Dragonfly, edited by Robert Bensenis the first anthology to document this struggle for cultural survival on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Invoking the dragonfly spirit of Zuni legend who helps children restore a way of life that has been taken from them, the anthology explores the breadth of the conflict about Native childhood. Included are works of Joy Harjo, Sherman Alexie, Eric Gansworth, Terra Trevor and others. They take readers from the boarding school movement of the 1870s to the Sixties Scoop in Canada and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 in the United States. They also spotlight the tragic consequences of racist practices such as the suppression of Indian identity in government schools and the campaign against Indian childbearing.


University of Oklahoma Press 

Edited By Geary Hobson, Janet McAdams And Kathryn Walkiewicz

Native literature, composed of western literary tradition is packed into the hyphens of the oral tradition. It is termed a “renaissance” but contemporary Native writing is both something old emerging in new forms and something that has never been asleep. The two-hundred-year-old myth of the vanishing American Indian still holds some credence in the American Southeast, the region from which tens of thousands of Indians were relocated after passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. Yet, a significant Indian population remained behind after those massive relocations. This is the first anthology to focus on the literary work of Native Americans with ancestry to “people who stayed” in southeastern states after 1830 and represents every state and every genre.

A Raven Chronicles Anthology

Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, contains poems, stories and images from 117 writers, 53 artists, divided into five fluid and intersecting sections: Legacies, We Are Here, Why?, Evidence, and Resistance. We begin with Legacies because the current increased climate of hate in this country didn’t begin with the 2016 election, and to find its roots we must look to U.S. history.

Fulcrum Publishing

Writers from around the world were asked to consider the devastating nature of conflict-inner wars, outer wars, public battles, and personal losses. Their answers, in the form of poignant poetry and essays, examine war in all its permutations, from Ireland to Iraq and everywhere in between, this moving anthology encompasses a wide range of voices. Edited by MariJo Moore.


Johns Hopkins University Press 

"Deeply moving and fierce, with hope on every page. This is a publication to cherish and pull out again, and again." 
—Terra Trevor, Author, Contributor, and Patient Advocate

INDIGENOUS THOUGHTS CONCERNING THE UNIVERSE
Renegade Planets Publishing
Edited by Marijo Moore and Trace A. Demeyer

"All the tribes say the universe is just the product of mind... It fits perfectly with the quantum. Indians believe the universe is mind, but they explore the spiritual end of it, not the physical end." 
—Vine DeLoria Jr.
 

Ten Questions features Terra Trevor, author of We Who Walk the Seven Ways (University of Nebraska Press) with the inside story of how her book was written, edited, and published with insights into her creative process.

Terra Trevor: About my life and work 

I'm an essayist, memoirist and storyteller, and I began writing and publishing in 1984. The first twenty years I wrote feature articles, personal essays and penned columns in magazines. My readership grew and in 2006 I published my first book, a memoir. A new path opened when I began receiving invitations to contribute essays to anthologies. Searching for a place to stand I found my voice while writing stories steeped in themes of place and belonging, infused and shaped by my identity as a mixed-blood. While collaborating with other authors I discovered my deep love of working with a collective of voices, with each of us telling our single story, working together to bring forth a whole book. In addition to my solo work, I’m a contributor to fifteen books. 

For every success we have I believe it’s important to remember how we got there. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that I have without the guidance from good people who gave their time to me, mentoring, shepherding and guiding me. I owe much gratitude to my literary elders who showed me the way and taught me to hold the door open, give back and help others where I can. 
 
There have been years when I wrote within the nooks and crannies of my life. Balancing motherhood and writing, with a baby on my lap, the dogs sleeping at my feet, while the cat walked across my keyboard. Writing while working as a director with American Indian Health. As a coordinator with a pediatric brain tumor organization, as a director of volunteers with Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care. Volunteering with KAAN: Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network as one of the early leaders, beginning in 1998 through 2016. As a coordinator in South Korea with KAAN's Friends of Korea Family Exchange Program. At a youth crisis shelter for at-risk teens, and foster youth in transition. With CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth and teens. In schools, and with writers and storytellers workshops and mentoring cores. 
 
Now, in my seventies, I'm still writing within the nooks and crannies of my life, often after mornings of wandering hills and valleys with grandkids and dogs, and I give readings, sit on discussion panels, and visit with book groups.