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  • NYS Writers Institute

Event: Saratoga Springs honors Joseph Bruchac as the city's first poet laureate

“Stories have always been at the heart of all our Native cultures...

Our stories remember when people forget.” -Joseph Bruchac

Storyteller, author, poet, and Abenaki elder Joseph Bruchac will be honored as the first Poet Laureate of Saratoga Springs at a ceremony to take place at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Saratoga Springs City Hall, 474 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

[Note: Event originally scheduled for 7 p.m. It is now starting at 6:40 p.m.]

The Poet Laureate is an honorary volunteer position, appointed by Saratoga Springs Mayor Rom Kim for a two-year term following the recommendation of a committee chaired by Rachel Baum and comprised of representatives from the literary arts community of Saratoga Springs.

Here is a poem by Joseph Bruchac's poem, "Prints," originally published in Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas., (2011, University of Arizona Press).


By Joseph Bruchac

Seeing photos

of ancestors

a century past

is like looking

at your own



and lines

you can't


until someone else

with a stranger's eye

looks close and says

that's you.

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children’s book author, poet, novelist, and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. He earned his BA from Cornell University, MA from Syracuse, and PhD in comparative literature from the Union Institute of Ohio.

In his work, Bruchac explores his Abenaki ancestry and Native American storytelling traditions. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in more than 1000 publications, from American Poetry Review to National Geographic.

Bruchac founded the Greenfield Review Literary Center and the Greenfield Review Press and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry and fiction, including Breaking Silence (1983), which won an American Book Award.

His honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and he is the author of more than 120 books for adults and children, including Tell Me a Tale: A Book About Storytelling (1997); The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story (1993); Keepers of the Earth (1988), which he coauthored with Michael Caduto; his autobiography, Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself (1997); and novels for young readers such as Dawn Land (1993) and The Heart of a Chief (1998).


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