Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area, and author of the mixed-genre Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir as well as three poetry collections – Raised By Humans, Indian Cartography and The Zen of La Llorona; she is also co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two Spirit Literature. Currently Deborah is John Lucian Smith Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University where she teaches creative writing and literature of the margins. Her work has been widely published in literary journals, scholarly journals and anthologies, and lends itself to interdisciplinary approaches; it is taught in Native Studies, Creative Writing, Women and Gender Studies, Anthropology, American Literature, Poetry, History, Sociology courses across North America, Europe and Australia. Deborah’s work has taken her to many universities and diverse communities such as Indigenous gatherings, genealogical societies, bookstores, and conferences. Most recently, Deborah has been working on a collection of essays tentatively titled Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae, and a collection of poems in the voices of each California mission.



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October 7, 2015 October 15-17, 2015 November 2, 2015
Washington & Lee University @ Leyburn Library’s Book Nook: Author Talk Series. 4 p.m. Keynote Speaker, “Time Again to Gather: California Indian Conference” at UC Berkeley

Keynote Speaker, University of Dayton’s Native Peoples of the Americas Colloquium.



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Excerpt: "For those suspicious of memoir's lofty goal to capture and contain memories, Bad Indians is a relief. Deborah A. Miranda’s mosaic of short essays, poetry, personal explorations, oral histories, tales, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, and photos (to name a few!) seeks to gather the stories of a people’s past while respecting the elusive nature of chronicling generations. This is not your ordinary memoir. The goal of documenting and processing in order to hold a memory as a complete and understood thing is not at the forefront of this work, but rather the drive of this collection is the desire (sometimes compulsion) to re-tell and recover truths—gaps and blurred moments notwithstanding." Excerpt: "Some childhood memories, some faded photographs, some snippets of stories written down word for word by an anthropologist, some paragraphs from old textbooks. A lesser author might have crafted a novel spanning the generations, a linear novel, maybe a chapter for each character. But Deborah didn’t and wouldn’t do that; it would have dishonored her ancestors. Rather, she looks at what is—the pieces, the shards of a broken mirror—and interprets, imagines, wonders. If she doesn’t know a thing, she says so. Throughout, she is in awe of the voices, drawings, photos, whatever she can find—all treasured gifts, entrusted to her by the elders and ancestors she never got to meet." Excerpt: "Miranda (English/Washington and Lee Univ.; The Zen of La Llorona, 2005, etc.), blends narrative, poetry, photos, anthropological recordings and more into a mosaic of memory of her own life and that of her people, the California Indians.
“The arc of leather, sharp edges of cured hide, instrument of punishment coming from two hundred years out of the past,” writes the author about yet another beating of her brother by her violent, alcoholic father. She ties this personal violence to the historical violence of the padres of the California missions, who, through beatings, torture, rape and enslavement, decimated and broke the California Indians."

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 UCLA Interview  


 Raised By Humans


 Bad Indians  Sovereign Erotics


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