Minnie Bruce Pratt

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Minnie Bruce Pratt
Born (1946-09-12) September 12, 1946 (age 75)
Selma, Alabama, U.S.
OccupationProfessor of Writing and Women's Studies at Syracuse University
Alma materUniversity of Alabama (BA)
University of North Carolina (PhD)
SubjectRace, class, gender and sexual theory
Years active1975–present
SpouseLeslie Feinberg

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.[3][4]


Pratt was born in Selma, Alabama, and grew up in Centreville, Alabama. Her parents are Virginia Brown Pratt, a social worker, and William Luther Pratt Jr., a clerk.[5] 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]

In 1977, Pratt helped to found WomonWrites, a Southeastern lesbian writers conference.[6] While attending the University of North Carolina in 1978, she joined Feminary, a southern feminist writing collective based in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina.[6] She would later join 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.[7]

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

Pratt has written extensively on race, class, gender and sexual theory. She, 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."[8]

In 1996, Pratt starred in Rosa von Praunheim 's film Transexual Menace.[9]

Pratt is the author of Crimes Against Nature (1990), a book where she describes losing custody of her children because of her lesbianism.[10] She is a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper.

She is on the faculty of the distance education school. Union Institute & University.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Pratt lives in Syracuse, New York. She is the widow of author-activist Leslie Feinberg, who died in November 2014.[12][13] Feinberg and Pratt married in New York and Massachusetts in 2011.[14]

Pratt has two sons by a previous heterosexual 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.[5]

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. April 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "Minnie Bruce Pratt". Common Dreams.
  4. ^ "University Honors Poet-Activist Minnie Bruce Pratt Feb. 26". SU News. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of Alabama: Minnie Bruce Pratt".
  6. ^ a b c "Historical Note". Guide to the Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers. 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "Press Release for Crime Against Nature" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Rapp, Linda (2004). "Pratt, Minnie Bruce". glbtq.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
  9. ^ "Transexual Menace". IMDB. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Minnie Bruce Pratt – Poet Activist LGBTQ+ Anti-Racist Anti-Imperialist".
  12. ^ "Annual Philip J. Traci Memorial Reading Feb. 6". February 3, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011.
  13. ^ Winterton, Bradley (December 16, 2003). "A transgender warrior spreads the word to Taiwan". Taipei Times.
  14. ^ Martin Pengelly (November 17, 2014). "Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues author and transgender campaigner, dies at 65". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "'Crime Against Nature' by Minnie Bruce Pratt". Lambda Literary. April 18, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Poets, Academy of American. "About Minnie Bruce Pratt | Academy of American Poets". poets.org. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  17. ^ "Crime against Nature | Awards & Grants". www.ala.org. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "Award Winners". Poetry Society of America. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  19. ^ "16th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. July 10, 2004. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  20. ^ "Minnie Bruce Pratt: The Poet as Working-Class Hero - Ms. Magazine". msmagazine.com. Retrieved August 27, 2021.

External links[edit]