Photo by Chris Felver
Terra Trevor is an essayist, memoirist, a contributor to fifteen books, the author of two memoirs, with essays in numerous publications. Her new memoir, We Who Walk the Seven Ways, (University of Nebraska Press) will be released May 1 2023. Her memoir, Pushing up the Sky, (KAAN Books) has been widely anthologized. 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 and anthologies.
Terra is the granddaughter of sharecroppers. She was born in 1953, and was 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. Her essays and memoirs are infused and shaped by her mixed-blood identity and her connection to the landscape. She lives with her family on the northern edge of the Central California coast, based between the ocean and redwoods, but calls the mountains home.
In addition to writing, she has worked as a director with American Indian Health. With a pediatric brain tumor organization, as a director of volunteers with hospice. As a director of volunteers for 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 writers and storytellers workshops and mentoring cores.
Terra Trevor: About my life and work
Photo courtesy of author
I've been writing and publishing for 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 memoir. 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, being part of a collective of voices and collaborating with other authors. 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 steadfast guidance from good people who gave their time to me, mentoring, shepherding and guiding me along. 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.