A citizen of the Nulhegan Abenaki Nation, Joseph Bruchac has authored over 170 books in numerous genres and his poems, fiction, and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications from American Poetry Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Parabola, and National Geographic to Junior Scholastic and Highlights for Children. His ground-breaking book Keepers of the Earth (co-authored with Michael Caduto), which uses traditional Native American stories to teach about science, has sold over a million copies and been adopted in schools throughout the United States and Canada.
A graduate of Cornell University, he received his Master’s Degree in Literature from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. from the Union Institute (Ohio).
His numerous awards include a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship, a CCLM Editors Fellowship, a NYS CAPS Writing Fellowship, the Hope S. Dean Memorial Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers.
A traditional Native musician and storyteller, he has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including as a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival, the Sierra Storytelling Festival, and the British Storytelling Festival.
His experiences include 3 years of teaching in Ghana and 8 years of running a college program inside a maximum security prison for Skidmore College. He has also been studying and teaching various martial arts for over four decades and holds black belts in Pentjak-silat and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. With his two sons James and Jesse, he runs the Ndakinna Education Center which offers programs in traditional Native survival skills, outdoor awareness, storytelling, and Abenaki language on their 90-acre nature preserve in the Adirondack mountain foothills near Saratoga Springs, NY.
Time magazine recently listed his novel Code Talker as one of the 100 best YA books of all time. His novel in verse, Rez Dogs, made the NPR list of the best books of 2021. His newest book, A Peacemaker for Warring Nations, illustrated by Mohawk artist David Kanietakeron Fadden tells the timely story of the founding of the Great League of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois).
Photo credit: Trish Miller