Cheryl Savageau

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Cheryl Savageau (born April 14, 1950) is a writer and poet who self-identifies as being of Abenaki descent.


Savageau is of self-identified Abenaki and French descent.[1] She claims that her father, Paul Savageau is of French and Abenaki descent, and that her mother, Cecile Meunier Savageau,[2] is French-Canadian.

Savageau was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, but grew up in a small island neighborhood on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury. She refers to this lake and her childhood growing up along the shore in her children's book Muskrat Will Be Swimming. She graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor of Science degree with focus on English and Philosophy.

It was in college that she really discovered her passion for writing and the connection it gave her to readers. Poetry and storytelling became Savageau's outlet for sharing stories about her ancestors and her Native culture.[3]

She was a founding member of Oak and Stone Storytellers, a storytelling group that told stories in concert to adults as well as to children in schools and libraries.[4][failed verification]

During her career, Savageau has won numerous awards for her work. Her children's book, Muskrat Will Be Swimming, was a Smithsonian Notable Book (1996) award winner, won the Skipping Stones Award for children's Environmental Books (1997), and the Best Children's Book Award (1997), from Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.[5] For her work mentoring young and beginning writers, she was awarded Mentor of the Year from Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers (1998).[6][failed verification]

Savageau has also won various fellowships for poetry including the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.[7]

Her writing focuses on retelling Abenaki stories, including the stories of women and the working class.[8] Also a visual artist, she has exhibited her quilts,[9] paintings and other works.[10][11]



Out of the Crazywoods. University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln). 2020. ISBN 9781496219039.


Children's books[edit]

Muskrat Will Be Swimming. Rising Moon. 1996. ISBN 9780873586047.

Anthology contributions[edit]

  • Melissa Tuckey, ed. (2018). Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820353159.
  • Dawnland Voices. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press. 2014. ISBN 9780803246867.
  • Sunken Garden Poetry, Brad Davis, ed. Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Ct. 2012
  • Living in Storms. Tom Schram, ed. Eastern University Press, 2008.
  • French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets. Christine Gelineau, ed. Louisiana Literature Press, 2007.
  • New Directions Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking. Peter S. Gardner,ed. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2005.
  • Approaching Literature in the 21st Century. Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl, eds. Bedford/St. Martin's Press, Boston. 2005.
  • Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology, Ruth Lepson, ed. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois. 2004
  • Connections: Reading and Writing in Cultural Contexts. Judith A. Stanford, ed. Rivier College, Mayfield Publishing, Calif. 2001.
  • My Home As I Remember It. Native Women in the Arts Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1999.
  • The Eye of the Deer. Carolyn Dunn Anderson and Carol Comfort, eds. Aunt Lute Books, 1999.
  • Poetry Nation. Regie Cabico and Todd Swift, eds. Véhicule Press, Montréal, Canada, 1999.
  • Identity Lessons: Learning American Style. Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, eds. Viking Penguin, 1999.
  • Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses. Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl, eds. St. Martin's Press, 1997.
  • Through the Kitchen Window. Arlene Arvakian, ed. University of Massachusetts, Spring, 1997.
  • Durable Breath. John E. Smelcer and D.L. Birchfield, eds. Salmon Run Press, 1994.
  • Two Worlds Walking. Diane Glancy and C.W. Truesdale, eds. New Rivers Press, 1994.
  • Returning the Gift. Joseph Bruchac, ed. Greenfield Review Press, 1994.
  • Poetry Like Bread Martín Espada, ed. Curbstone Press, 1994.
  • An Ear to the Ground. Marie Harris and Kathleen Aguero, eds. University of Georgia Press, 1989.



  1. ^ Senier, Siobhan (September 2014). Dawnland Voices. University of Nebraska Press. p. 313. ISBN 9780803246867.
  2. ^ Savageau, Cheryl. “The Sound of My Mother Singing.” Agni, no. 34, 1991, pp. 202–205. JSTOR,
  3. ^ Savageau, Cheryl. "Stories, Language, and the Land". English Language Notes. Duke University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  4. ^ An Ear to the ground: an anthology of contemporary American poetry. Harris, Marie., Aguero, Kathleen. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 1989. pp. 333. ISBN 0820311227. OCLC 18560793.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ "Cheryl Savageau". Dawnland Voices. 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  6. ^ My home as I remember. Maracle, Lee., Laronde, Sandra. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books. 2000. pp. 63. ISBN 9781554882366. OCLC 649903662.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Savageau, Cheryl (7 June 2017). "Cheryl Savageau". WordPress. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Cheryl Savageau". Poetry Foundation. 17 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Cheryl Savageau". "We're Still Here": Contemporary Indigenous New England Artists. University of New Hampshire. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Cheryl Savageau". "Invisible/Visible": Emerging Contemporary New England Native American Art. University of New Hampshire. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Dirt Road Home by Cheryl Savageau". Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  12. ^ Siobhan Senier (Fall 2010). "'All This / Is Abenaki Country': Cheryl Savageau's Poetic Awikhiganak". Studies in American Indian Literatures. 3. 22 (3): 1–25. doi:10.1353/ail.2010.0013. S2CID 162284619. Savageau's newest book, Mother/Land, appeared in 2006 in Salt Publishing's Earthworks series, edited by Janet McAdams; this will put her even more visibly in the company of such esteemed poets as Carter Revard, Diane Glancy, and Heid Erdrich.
  13. ^ Savageau, Cheryl (7 June 2017). "Cheryl Savageau". WordPRess. Retrieved 18 November 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]