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Beth Brant is the daughter of a white mother (Irish Scots) and a Mohawk father. She grew up with her father’s family, on the Bay of Quinte Mohawk in Ontario. Even in her childhood, she had experiences with racism because her mother’s family refused to admit any link to Natives. Most of her life she stayed in the border region of Ontario, Canada and Michigan, USA.
She married at 17, and gave birth to three daughters. After she divorced her violent, alcoholic husband, she got a job to support her family through daily life. She didn’t finish her education. At the age of 33, she came out as a lesbian. In 1981 she began to write and publish anthologies on Native literature. Between 1989 and 1990 she lectured at the University of British Columbia, and in 1993 at the University of Toronto. She works temporarily as teacher for creative writing and lives in Detroit, MI.
Brant characterizes herself as a lesbian mother and grand mother, a Taurus, ascendant Scorpio, a dropout and a woman of the working class.
In 1984 and 1986 she was awarded the Creative Writing Award of the Michigan Council for the Arts, in 1991 the National Endowment for the Arts and 1992 the Canada Council Award in Creative Writing.
- Mohawk Trail, 1985, ISBN 0-932379-02-8
- A Gathering of Spirit, anthology of North American Indian women, 1988, ISBN 0-932379-55-9
- Food & Spirits, narratives, 1991, ISBN 0-932379-93-1
- Writing as Witness, Essay 1994, ISBN 0-88961-200-5
- I'll Sing `til the Day I Die, talks with Tyendinaga presbyters, 1995, ISBN 0-9698064-2-6