About my life and work

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. She is a contributor to fifteen books, and her essays are in numerous publications. Her work and portrait are featured in Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits (University of New Mexico Press). Her work is also included in 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, and in other books, anthologies 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 work is infused and shaped by her mixed-blood identity and her connection to the landscape. Her stories illuminate our humanity, remind us to be open, to listen, to connect, to hope, to question—or bring change. She lives with her family on the northern edge of the Central California coast, based between the ocean and redwoods, and calls the mountains home.

Photo by Chris Felver 
Terra Trevor: About my life and work
I've been writing and publishing for more than four decades. 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 new path opened when I began receiving invitations from other authors inviting me to contribute chapters to anthologies. Searching for a place to stand I discovered what I enjoy most about writing is storytelling, and collaborating with other writers and being part of a collective of voices. In addition to my solo work, I'm a contributor to fifteen books. 
There have been years when I wrote within the nooks and crannies of my life with a baby on my lap, dogs sleeping at my feet, while the cat walked across my keyboard. Along the way I've also worked as a director with American Indian Health. With a pediatric brain tumor organization, as a director of volunteers with hospice. At an animal shelter, in South Korea with a family exchange program. At a youth crisis shelter for homeless teens. As a volunteer with CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for at-risk and foster youth in transition. In schools, and with writers and storytellers workshops and mentoring cores. I'm a mother and grandmother, a good bean cook, soup-maker, community volunteer, dreamer, advocate and activist. 
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 steadfast guidance from good people who gave their time to me, mentoring, shepherding and guiding me along. As a writer and elder mixed-blood woman, with a light complexion that belies my Native identity, I strive to listen deep and walk gently. I owe much gratitude to my literary elders who taught me to hold the door open, give back and help others where I can. It’s a privilege to have readers, and I am deeply grateful. 
When I'm not writing, I'm wandering hills and valleys with grandkids and dogs, and I give readings, sit on panels, and visit book clubs to talk about my books with the people who read them.


We Who Walk the Seven Ways: A Memoir