Chrystos[pronunciation?], born November 7, 1946 as Chrystos Lieve Snellings, is a Menominee two-spirit self-educated writer, activist, and warrior. She has published many books and poems that explore indigenous rights, social justice and feminism. She is also a lecturer, writing teacher and fine-artist.
" They have our bundles split open in museums
our dresses & shirts at auctions
our languages on tape
our stories in locked rare book libraries
our dances on film
The only part of us they can’t steal
is what we know.
Life and career
Chrystos is a Lesbian- and Two-Spirit-identified writer. Born in San Francisco, United States as part of a group called Urban Indians, Chrystos was taught to read by her father, who was self-educated, and began writing poetry at age nine. Inspired by what she describes as the pain that white culture caused her father, her writing introduces a diverse mixture of characters and ideas and focuses on social justice issues, reaching towards a better understanding of how issues such as colonialism, genocide, class and gender affect the lives of women and Native people. She also tries to raise awareness of Native American heritage and culture, while breaking down stereotypes. She has published many works including Not Vanishing, Dream On, In Her I Am, Fugitive Colors, Fire Power, Red Rollercoaster, and Wilde Reis, and self-illustrated many of the book covers. Her works are published by printing presses in Canada due to America's censorship and the "very little support for writers". She has won numerous awards including NEA, Human Rights Freedom Of Expression, Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Barbara Demming Grant, and she also won the Aude Lorde International Poetry Competition. Chrystos was inspired by the work of Audre Lorde, Joy Harjo, Elizabeth Woody, and Lillian Pitt, among others She has lived on Bainbridge Island, Washington since 1980.
- This Bridge Called My Back (anthology) Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, 1981, contributor
- Not Vanishing, Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1988, ISBN 0-88974-015-1
- Dream On, Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1991
- In Her I Am, Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1993
- Fugitive Colors, Cleveland: Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1995, ISBN 1-880834-11-1
- Fire Power, Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0-88974-047-X
- Some Poems By People I Like (anthology of 5 poets) Toronto: sandraslittlebookshop, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9739540-1-2
- "Chrystos : The Poetry Foundation". www.poetryfoundation.org. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- "12 Incredible Indigenous LGBTQ Women and Two-Spirit People You Should Know | Autostraddle". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- Chrystos (1988). Not Vanishing. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers.
- "Interview-with-Chrystos". Black Coffee Poet. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- Chrystos (1988). Not Vanishing. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers. p. 106.
- Sorrel, Lorraine, "Not Vanishing", review in Off Our Backs. Washington: Mar 31, 1989. Vol.19, Iss. 3.
- "12 Incredible Indigenous LGBTQ Women and Two-Spirit People You Should Know | Autostraddle". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
- "Chrystos". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- Chrystos (1988). Not Vanishing. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers. p. 103.
- "Chrystos: biography", Voices from the Gaps, University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, retrieved 2012-01-25
- Local authors, Bainbridge Public Library, March 26, 2011, retrieved 2012-01-25
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