Deborah A. Miranda

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Deborah Miranda
BornOctober 22, 1961
Los Angeles, California
EducationPh.D., English
Alma materUniversity of Washington
OccupationPoet, professor
ChildrenMiranda and Danny
Parent(s)Alfred Edward Robles Miranda and Madgel Eleanor (Yeoman) Miranda

Deborah Miranda is a writer and poet. Her father, Alfred Edward Robles Miranda is from the Esselen and Chumash people, native to the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez/Monterery, California area. Her mother, Madgel Eleanor (Yeoman) Miranda was of French ancestry.


Miranda was born at UCLA hospital in October 1961, and raised in and around Los Angeles, California. At the age of three, her parents divorced and her father began 8 years of incarceration at San Quentin. When Miranda was 5, her mother moved her to Washington State. Upon her father's release from prison, her parents reunited for about 5 years; although they later separated, both parents continued working to re-establish tribal ties and reunite tribal members. The Esselen Nation is currently petitioning the federal government for recognition.[1]

Miranda's mother, Madgel E. Miranda, died in November 2001. Her father, Alfred E. Miranda, died in June 2009.

Deborah Miranda and her partner Margo Solod live in Lexington, Virginia, where Miranda is an Associate Professor at Washington and Lee University. The couple has three adult children and one grandchild.


Miranda is a member of the prestigious Macondo Writers Workshop, the workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros, and the Native Writing Circle of the Americas. Miranda's 2012-2013 sabbatical research was funded by a Lenfest Sabbatical Grant for her project "The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae".[2] Miranda is working on a collection of essays titled Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and other California Indian Lacunae, and a series of poems in the Voices of each California Mission.[3]


Deborah Miranda earned a B.S. in Teaching Moderate Special Needs from Wheelock College in 1983. Much later, Miranda earned her Ph.D. in English at age 40 from the University of Washington in 2001. She taught at Pacific Lutheran University for three years. Miranda is currently Associate Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where she teaches Creative Writing (poetry), Native American Literatures, Women's Literature, Poetry as Literature, and composition.

Deborah Miranda was selected for the 2007-2008 Institute of American Cultures (IAC) Visiting Scholars Award at the University of California - Los Angeles. She researched and taught at UCLA during her sabbatical.

Miranda is the author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir from Heyday Books (2012). Miranda was inspired by Gerald Vizenor. She is also the author of two poetry collections and numerous academic essays. Miranda's poetry has been published in the Bellingham Review, Bellowing Ark, California Quarterly, Calyx, Callaloo, Cimarron Review, News From Native California, Poets On, Raven Chronicles, Sojurner, Weber Studies Journal, West Wind Review, Yellow Medicine Review and Wilderness.


Miranda won a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award gold medal in the Autobiography/Memoir category for her book Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir. She was also awarded a 2015 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award.[4]

For the 2011-2012 year Miranda was awarded a Lenfest Sabbatical Award by Washington and Lee University.

Along with Qwo-Li Driskill, Daniel Heath Justice and Lisa Tatonetti, Miranda co-edited Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two-Spirit Literature[5] in 2011 (U of Arizona Press), which won a Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards[6] and was a finalist for the anthology category at the 24th Lambda Literary Awards.[7]

Miranda was selected for the 2007-2008 Institute of American Cultures (IAC) Visiting Scholars Award at the University of California - Los Angeles.[citation needed]

The Zen of La Llorona was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award in 2005.

In 2001 Miranda received the Connie Leach Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in achieving a Doctoral Degree from the Seattle Indian Services Commission. In 2000, she was named Writer of the Year for Poetry for her book, Indian Cartography, by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers. She also received a Hedgebrook Writers Residency that year.[citation needed]

Miranda received the First Book Awards' Diane Decorah Award for Poetry in 1997 from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. In 1995, she was the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Prizewinner in poetry. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 1994. In 1993, she won the 49th Parallel Poetry Prize and obtained a Tacoma Arts Commission Grant to plan and carry out a day-long arts workshop for mothers.[citation needed]



"Raised by Humans: Poems," Tia Chucha, 2015.[8]

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir, Heyday Press, 2012.[9]

Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two-Spirit Literature. Ed.,with Qwo-Li Driskill, Daniel Heath Justice and Lisa Tatonetti. U of Arizona P (2011) [10]

The Zen of La Llorona, Salt Publishing, 2005.[11]

Deer, a chapbook.

Indian Cartography, Greenfield Review Press, 1999, Cover Art by Kathleen Smith (Dry Creek Pomo/Bodega Miwok)


  • "Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence" (Blue Light Press 2013);[12]
  • "New California Writing" (Heyday 2012) [13]
  • Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology (Trinity U 2012),[14]
  • En esa redonda nacion de sangre: Poesia indigena estadounidense contemporanea (La Cabra 2011),[15]
  • Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas (U of Arizona 2011),[16]
  • A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens (Green Poets 2011),[17]
  • Spring Salmon, Hurry to Me (Heyday 2008),[18]
  • Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Vol. 2 (Aunt Lute 2007),[19]
  • Red Ink: Love and Erotica, University of Arizona American Indian Studies Program.
  • The Red Issue: Love and Erotica (Nov.2003)[20]
  • A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women's Poetry, Margarita Donnelly, Beverly McFarland, Micki Reaman (Editors), Calyx Books. 2002
  • The Dirt Is Red Here: Art & Poetry from Contemporary Native California, Margaret Dubin (Editor), Heyday Books,[21] 2002.
  • This Bridge We Call Home: 20 Years After This Bridge Called My Back, Gloria Anzaldua & AnaLouise Keating (Editors), Routledge.
  • Through the Eye of the Deer, Carolyn Dunn & Carol Zitzer-Comfort (Editors), Aunt Lute Books, 1999.
  • Women: Images and Realities - A Multicultural Anthology, Nancy Schniedewind, Amy Kesselman & Lily D. McNair (Editors), Mayfield Pub., 1999.
  • The Indian Summer issue of phati’tude Literary Magazine
  • Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry, John E. Smelcer, D. L. Birchfield (Editors), Salmon Run Pub.[22]

Journal articles and book reviews[edit]

"What's Wrong with a Little Fantasy? Storytelling from the (still) Ivory Tower" in American Indian Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 1&2, ed. by Devon A. Mihesuah .

"Dildos, Hummingbirds and Driving Her Crazy: Searching for American Indian Women's Love Poetry and Erotics." Frontiers. Edited by Ines Hernandez-Avila.

"Dildos, Hummingbirds and Driving Her Crazy: Searching for American Indian Women's Love Poetry and Erotics." in Reading Native Women: Critical/Creative Representations, edited by Ines Hernandez-Avila. Altamira Press.

"A String of Textbooks: Artifacts of Composition Pedagogy in Indian Boarding Schools." The Journal of Teaching Writing. Vol. 16.2, Fall 2000.

"I Don't Speak the Language that has the Sentences: An Interview with Paula Gunn Allen" in Sojourner: The Women's Forum. February 1999, Vol. 24, No. 2.

"A Strong Woman Pursuing Her God: Linda Hogan's Power" in Sojourner: The Women's Forum. November 2000, Vol. 26, No. 3.

Fiction Posing as Truth: A Critical Review of Ann Rinaldi's My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, with Marlene Atleo, Naomi Caldwell, Barbara Landis, Jean Mendoza, LaVera Rose, Beverly Slapin, and Cynthia Smith. Also published in Re-thinking Schools: An Urban Education Journal (Summer 1999); also published in Multicultural Review (September 1999, Vol. 8, No. 3)[23]

Review of Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Essays: A Tribal Voice by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn in Sojourner: The Women's Forum. January 1997, Vol. 22, No. 5.

Review of Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit by Leslie Marmon Silko in Sojourner: The Women's Forum. November 1996, Vol. 22, No. 93.

Interviews and autobiographical essays[edit]

"An Interview With Deborah Miranda", Donna Miscolta (Writer), March, 2013.[24]

"Two-Spirit Week 2012: Interviews with Deborah Miranda, Louis Cruz, And Doe O’Brien. June 27, 2012.[25]

"'Bad Girls'/'Good Girls': Women, Sex, and Power in the Nineties", Donna Perry, Nan Bauer Maglin (Editors), Rutgers University Press.

Interview available online[edit]

  • The Native Voice.[26]

Writing available online[edit]

Social Media[edit]

  • Twitter @badndns [27]


  1. ^ "Tribe Petitions For Federal Recognition," KSBW Action News 8, Central Coast, California, April 29, 2003.
  2. ^
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  4. ^ "PEN Oakland Awards | PEN Oakland". Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  5. ^ "Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  6. ^ IPPY Awards. "2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  7. ^ "24th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
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  9. ^ Bad Indians Publisher's page
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  11. ^ The Zen of La Llorona Publisher's page
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  23. ^ Fiction Posing as Truth: A Critical Review of Ann Rinaldi's My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl,
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External links[edit]