Biography

Terra Trevor is an essayist, memoirist and nonfiction writer, a contributor to fifteen books, the author of two memoirs, and essays and articles in numerous publications. Her new memoir, We Who Walk the Seven Ways, will be released from the University of Nebraska Press, May 2023. 

Her memoir, Pushing up the Sky, 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 (forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press), Voices Confronting Pediatric Brain Tumors (Johns Hopkins University Press), Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, and in numerous other books, anthologies and literary journals.  

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 into two seasons, the city and camping. With her family pulling dinner from a lake or river and the natural world a ready part of her growing up years, she calls the mountains home. Her essays and memoirs are infused and shaped by her Cherokee, Lenape, Seneca ethnicity, her identity as a mixed-blood, and her connection to the landscape. 

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 with writers and storytellers workshops and mentoring cores. She lives with her family on the northern edge of the Central California coast, based between the ocean and redwoods.

Photo by Chris Felver