Minnie Bruce Pratt

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Minnie Bruce Pratt
Born (1946-09-12) September 12, 1946 (age 74)
Selma, Alabama
OccupationProfessor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University
EducationPh.D. in English literature
Alma materUniversity of Alabama (BA, 1968)
University of North Carolina (Ph.D, 1979)
Subjectrace, class, gender and sexual theory
Years active1975-present
SpouseLeslie Feinberg
ChildrenRansom Weaver
Ben Weaver[1][2]
RelativesHer parents are Virginia Brown Pratt, a social worker, and William Luther Pratt Jr., a clerk.[3]

Minnie Bruce Pratt (born September 12, 1946) is an American educator, activist and essayist. She retired in 2015 from her position as Professor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York where she was invited to help develop the university’s first LGBT Study Program.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Pratt was born in Selma, Alabama, and grew up in Centreville, Alabama. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Alabama (1968) and earned a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of North Carolina (1979).[6]


She has written extensively about race, class, gender and sexual theory. Pratt, along with lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, received a Hellman/Hammett grant from the Fund for Free Expression to writers "who have been victimized by political persecution." Pratt, Chrystos and Lorde were chosen because of their experience as "a target of right-wing and fundamentalist forces during the recent attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts."[7]

Pratt is the author of Crimes Against Nature (1990), a book where she describes losing custody of her children because of her lesbianism.[8] She is a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper.

She is on the faculty of Union Institute & University, a distance education school.[9]

Social activism[edit]

In 1977, Pratt helped found WomonWrites, a Southeastern lesbian writers conference.[6] While attending the University of North Carolina in 1978, she joined Feminary, southern feminist writing collective based in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC.[6] Later she became a member of LIPS, a Washington, D.C. lesbian direct action group, which participated in civil disobedience at the 1987 protest of the Bowers vs. Hardwick sodomy law decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court.[10]

Her political affiliations include the International Action Center, the National Women's Fightback Network, and the National Writers Union.

Personal life[edit]

Pratt lives in Syracuse, New York. She is the widow of author and activist Leslie Feinberg, who died in November 2014.[11][12] Feinberg and Pratt married in New York and Massachusetts in 2011.[13]

Pratt has two sons from a prior marriage to poet Marvin E. Weaver II which ended in divorce in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1975. She lost custody of her children because the state criminalized homosexual activity at the time.[3]

Published works[edit]

  • The Sound Of One Fork. Durham, NC: Night Heron Press. 1981. ASIN: B000HF76DW
  • Elly Bulkin; Barbara Smith (1984). Yours In Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives On Anti-Semitism And Racism. New York: Long Haul Press. ISBN 0-932379-53-2. Chosen for the 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books, by the Publishing Triangle, 2004.
  • Crime Against Nature. Ithaca, NY.: Firebrand Books. 1990. ISBN 0-932379-73-7. American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award in Literature 1991, The Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets, 1989.
  • Rebellion: Essays 1980-1991. Ithaca, NY.: Firebrand Books. 1991. ISBN 1-56341-006-0.
  • We Say We Love Each Other. San Francisco: Spinster's ink books/Aunt Lute Books. 1985. ISBN 1-56341-023-0.
  • S/HE. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books. 1995. ISBN 1-55583-888-X.
  • Walking Back Up Depot Street: Poems. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1999. ISBN 0-8229-4096-5. Best Gay and Lesbian Book of the Year by ForeWord: Magazine of Independent Bookstores and Booksellers, 2000.
  • The Money Machine: Selected Poems. New York: Belladonna* Books. 2003. ASIN: B0006S92LE
  • The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 2003. ISBN 0-8229-5826-0. Chosen Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry, 2003.
  • Inside the Money Machine. Carolina Wren Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-932112-60-6.

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Guide to the Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers, 1870s-2005, bulk 1975-2005". David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
  2. ^ "'Crime Against Nature' by Minnie Bruce Pratt". Lambda Literary.
  3. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of Alabama: Minnie Bruce Pratt".
  4. ^ "Minnie Bruce Pratt". Common Dreams.
  5. ^ "University Honors Poet-Activist Minnie Bruce Pratt Feb. 26". SU News. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  6. ^ a b c "Historical Note". Guide to the Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers. 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  7. ^ Rapp, Linda (2004). "Pratt, Minnie Bruce". glbtq.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  8. ^ "Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died". The Advocate. November 17, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. Feinberg’s spouse, Minnie Bruce Pratt, an activist and poet, is the author of Crime Against Nature, about loss of custody of her sons as a lesbian mother.
  9. ^ http://www.mbpratt.org/unionint.html
  10. ^ "Press Release for Crime Against Nature" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Annual Philip J. Traci Memorial Reading Feb. 6". February 3, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011.
  12. ^ Winterton, Bradley (December 16, 2003). "A transgender warrior spreads the word to Taiwan". Taipei Times.
  13. ^ Martin Pengelly. "Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues author and transgender campaigner, dies at 65". the Guardian.

External links[edit]