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Deborah A. Miranda’s primary teaching and research topics include American Literature that is off the canonical map - in other words, contemporary American Lit by authors from the margins of U.S. culture.  This literature typically approaches America culture from directions previously unconsidered, as we see the world through the eyes of Native Americans, Chicanos and Chicanas, African Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Appalachians, Southern Americans, and more.  Contexts such as environmental issues, economic limitations, linguistic barriers/advantages, and historical trauma are all explored in voices typically not heard in mainstream literature.  Many of Professor Miranda's courses are cross-listed with Women's Studies, Shepherd Poverty Program, Latin American & Caribbean and African American Studies programs and, with permission of each program's director and Professor Miranda, may be taken for credit in those areas.


PhD. in English, University of Washington (2001)
M.A. in English, University of Washington (spring 2001)
B.S., Teaching Moderate Special Needs Children, Wheelock College (1983)

Professor Miranda has studied creative writing with numerous authors, including Grace Paley, Mimi Khalvati, Olga Broumas, Dorothy Allison, Ruth Behar, Leslie Marmon Silko, Linda Hogan, Norma Cantu, Norma Alarcon, Kristin Naca.  She is a member of Macondo, the writer's workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros, and the Native Writing Circle of the Americas.

Courses Taught


English 299

  • U.S. History in Native American Literature
  • The Native Writes Back: Indigenous Literature and U.S. History

ENGL 359

Coming to Voice: Literature by Women of Color in the U.S.

ENGL 260

Literary Approaches to Poverty (xlisted with Shep Pov)

ENGL 262

  • Native American Women’s Literature
  • Class, Race & Ethnicity in American Literature
  • Women’s Testimonio Writing in North America

ENGL 293

Home/Borderlands/Identity: Contemporary Chican@ Literature

English 361

Native American Literatures

English 380

  • Women of Color and Feminism in Literature
  • Native American Women's Literature
  • American Ethnic Literature
  • Chicano/a Literature

ENGL 359 

Made in the U.S.A.: American Ethnic Literatures

Creative Writing Courses

English 204

Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry Workshop

ENGL 305 

Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Writing Outside The Lines - Hybrid, Boundary-Crossing, Genre-Bending, Mixed, Multi- & Outlaw Creations

English 307

Advanced Poetry Workshop

English 308

Spring Term Workshop -- Fresh, Local, Wild: the Poetics of Food

ENGL 309 

Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Memoir

Capstone Topics

English 413

  • Disobedient Texts: Hybrids, Impurities and Genre-benders in Life Narratives
  • The Art of the Word-A Whole-body Experience
  • The Mosaic of Memoir
  • Off the Canonical Map in American Literature
  • Class, Gender and Sexuality in American Literature


2019   Thomas H. Broadus Endowed Chair in English

2018   Pushcart Prize nomination (“The Last Poem,” Beltway Poetry Review)

2017   “Indigenous Women on the Frontlines Award” for tribal and community activism from California Indian Women's Association.

2015   PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award for Bad Indians.

2015   Pathfinder Award, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers (Raised By Humans)

2014   Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir nominated for selection as the 2015-2016

2014  One Campus One Book reader on the University of Central Missouri campus

2014   Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir Core Text for 200 person lecture seminar launched by English Department at UC Santa Barbara.

2014   Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir chosen as one of three texts for the Merrill Core Course. UC Santa        Cruz

2014   Pushcart Prize nomination ("San Zombies de los Vivientes")

2014   Gold Medalist, Independent Publisher’s Association (Bad Indians)

2014   Shortlisted for William Saroyan Award (Bad Indians)

2014   Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency

2012   Finalist, Lambda Literary Award (Sovereign Erotics)

2012   Silver Medalist, Independent Publisher’s Award (Sovereign Erotics)

2012   Pathfinder Award, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers (Sovereign Erotics)

2011   Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency

2011   Pushcart Prize nomination (poetry: “Cousins”)

2007   Institute of American Cultures Fellowship, UCLA

2006   American Philosophical Society Grant for Native American Research

2005   Lambda Literary Award nomination (Zen of La Llorona)

2003   NEH Summer Institute at Evergreen State College: Native Literature and Art

2000   Writer of the Year (Poetry), Wordcraft Circle of Native Writer

1997   Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award for Poetry (Indian Cartography)



Altar to Broken Things (BkMk Press 2020)

Raised By Humans (Tia Chucha Press 2015)

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (Heyday 2013)

Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two-Spirit Writing (U of Arizona 2011)

The Zen of La Llorona: Poems (Salt 2005)

Indian Cartography: Poems (Greenfield Review 1999).


In Progress:

The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows (essays; under contract with U of Nebraska)

As Told To: Interviews with California Missions (poetry collection)



“They Were Tough, Those Old Women Before Us”: The Power of Gossip and Felt Theory in Isabel    Meadows’ Narratives (Biography, 06/2016, Volume 39, Issue 3)

“Extermination of the Joyas: Gendercide in Spanish California” (The Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 16.1-2. January 2010, Duke U Press 2010)

“Saying the Padre Had Grabbed Her: Rape is the Weapon, Story is the Cure” (Inter/texts, Fall 2010)

“Dildos, Hummingbirds and Driving Her Crazy: Searching for American Indian Women’s Love Poetry and Erotics” (Frontiers, 2002)

“What’s Wrong With a Little Fantasy? Storytelling from the (Still) Ivory Tower” and “Footnoting Heresy”   (This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation, Routledge 2002).



MLA 2019: "When My Body is the Archive: The Making of Bad Indians," in the Indigenous Engagements with Anthropology. Panelist. January 5, 2018.

American Historical Association 2019: “Late Breaking Rapid Response History: Native American Identities, Racial Slurs, and Elizabeth Warren.”  Chair of panel. January 5, 2018.

AWP 2019: “On the 20th Anniversary of Tupelo Press, a celebration of Native poets.” Reader. March 29, 2019.

“Converting Spaces: Re-directing Missions Through Global Encounters” conference held at UC Santa Barbara. Plenary Speaker.  April 5-7, 2017.

Association for the Study of Environmental Literature (ASLE), Detroit MI.  Participated in seminar titled “Intersections of Environmental Humanities and Indigenous Studies” and presented a paper titled “‘…everybody is Indigenous’: Ecological Thought Experiments in Silko’s Gardens in the Dunes.”  June 5, 2017.

Invited participant at International Symposium for Biopolitics, Geopolitics, Sovereignty, Life: Settler Colonialisms and Indigenous Presences in North America.  University of Mainz, Germany, 6/25-27/2015.  Also gave a poetry reading here.

Center for Biographical Study at U of Hawai’i-Manoa Symposium.  Workshopped essays on Indigenous Biography with five other scholars, presented my own materials.  August 26-29, 2015 (via Skype).

Heyday Conference. “Saying Our Share: Surviving the Missions.”  February 20-22, 2015, Berkeley CA.

Invited Panelist.  UC Davis for Mellon Research Initiative, “Social Justice, Culture and (In)security.”  February 26-27, 2015.

Keynote Speaker. California Indian Conference.  “The Revolution Will Not Be Missionized: ‘Making Our Story Again in This World.’” 10/17/15.

Keynote Speaker.  Native Peoples of the Americas Colloquium, U of Dayton.  “Even When We’re Dead We’re Not Good Enough: California Indians and the Legacy of Junipero Serra.”  11/2/15.



Second reader for Honors Thesis by Taylor Reese (Chris Gavaler’s student), 2018-19.

Judge, Lambda Literary Awards 2019 (Memoir).

External examiner for Charlotte Hoelke’s disseratation, I’m a Mountain Biking Vampire Witch From the Future!”: Queer Decolonial Killjoys in Queer Studies and Politics. Carleton University, Ottawa. Completed December 2018.

External examiner for Lydia Heberling’s dissertation, California Indians Dreamin’: Aesthetic and Formal Innovations in Pacific Coast Native Arts and Literatures.  University of Washington, Seattle. In progress.

Contributing editor and poetry contributor, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (forthcoming August 2020, W.W. Norton).

Contributing editor, Shenandoah.

Blurbist for Brother Bullet, by Casandra Lopez, and We Are Dancing for You: Native Feminisms & the Revitalization of Women’s Coming-of-Age Ceremonies, by Cutcha Risling Baldy.

Oceanic Book Club food and drink organizer (Washington and Lee).

Consultant for Mudd Center’s invitation to February 2019 speaker Joy Harjo.


Forthcoming Poems & Other Creative Writing:

“Raised by Humans,” “Indian Country,” “The Language of Truth,” “When My Body is the Archive,” “Indigenous Physics: The Element Colonizatium” in American Indian Culture and Research Journal 42:2 (2019)

Contributing editor, section introduction writer and poetry contributor, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (forthcoming August 2020, W.W. Norton). Poems: "I Am Not a Witness" and "Mesa Verde"

Afterword.  Beth Brant: A Memorial.  Sinister Wisdom Press.

“Eastern Box Turtle (”Terrapene peregrinus temporalis") (poem) in A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia: an anthology project.  U of Georgia Press, 2019.

“Fireborn,” a short story, in a special issue of American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 2019.

Recent Creative Publications:

“Three Coyote Stories” and “Words I Would Use in a Sonnet to You,” in The Vassar Review, 2019.

“Excavation” (essay) and 5 poems (“Juliana, 1803,” “Indian Cartography,”  “Novena to Bad Indians,” “Erasure: A Poem,” “Tears of the Sun” in Native Voices: Honoring Indigenous Poets of North America. Tupelo Press, 2019.

“Tuolumne” (reprint) in Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers (University of Washington Press, 2019)

“After Charlottesville,” “The Last Poem,” & Corazón Espinado,” in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Fall 2018)

“Lunatic or Lover, Madman or Shaman: The Role of the Poet in Contemporary Culture(s).”  Stealing Light: A Raven Chronicles Anthology.  Raven Chronicle Press. 2018.

Poem. “Almost Midnight.” Split This Rock poem of the week, 7/15/18.

Three Poems. “Palimpsest,” “Love in the Margins,” “When You Forget Me” on Literary Hub’s Queer Indigenous Women Poetry, edited by Natalie Diaz. 2018.

“Ursula K. Le Guin – In Memorium.”  Kenyon Review Blog. January 2018.

Poem “For The White Lady Who Had Kokopelli’s Statue Removed From a State Park” in Weaving the Legacy: Remembering Paula Gunn Allen. West End Press, 2017.

Poem. “Santa Grita de los Dioramas” in The Mission. Heyday, 2017.

Poem. “What Whales Want.” Tending the Fire: Native Voices & Portraits. U of New Mexico, 2017.

Poem “Almost Midnight” on Split This Rock: The Quarry. June 2017.

Essay “Tuolumne” in World Literature Today. May 2017.

Poem “Acorn” on “Poet Spotlight,” Best American Poetry. November 2017.

Poem “Deer” in The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop by Diane Lockwood. Terrapin Books 2016.

Essay “Voice” in Mud City Journal (Institute of American Indian Arts). 2016.

Poem “For the White Lady Who Had Kokopelli's Statue Removed From a State Park” in

Weaving the Legacy: Remembering Paula Gunn Allen, West End Press, 2016.

Poem “Deer” in The Dead Animal Handbook; The University of Hell Press. 2016.

Poem "Indian Cartography" for publication in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from   California.  Heyday 2016.

5 poems (“San Zombie de los Muertos Vivientes,” “San Amnesia de La Lobotomía,” “Santa Mariposa de las Piedras,” “Santa Grita de los Dioramas”, and “Erasure: A Poem”) in News From Native California: Surviving the Mission, Spring 2015.

Introduction to Surviving the Mission: News from Native California, Spring 2015.

Poem. “Juliana, 1803.”  Featured poem in West Trestle Review.

2 Poems. Yellow Medicine Review. "San Amnesia de La Lobotomia" and "Santa Mariposa de las Piedras." Spring 2014.

2 Poems.  Codex. "San Zombie de los Muertos Vivientes" (also includes audio) and "ERASURE: A POEM" http://c 12/24/14.

Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-first Century (Dartmouth College Press, 2014). 

Poem. “Indian Country.”  Shenandoah.  deborah-miranda/


“Feeding Ourselves with Stories, and the Gift of Having a Body: A Conversation with Deborah Miranda” by Dr. René Dietrich, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 42:2 (2019)

Online interview, “Deborah A Miranda on Mixing Genres to Confront Cultural Trauma.” 8/2018.

“Deborah A. Miranda” New Letters on the Air, 2016.

“An Interview with Deborah Miranda” by Donna Miscolta, 2013.

“Bad Indians: An Interview with Deborah Miranda, 2013.

“Interview with Rose Amador on Native Voices TV,” 2013.

PREVIOUS PUBLICATIONS IN ANTHOLOGIES & LITERARY JOURNALS: Ecopoetry; Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-first Century; Women Write Resistance; En esa redonda nacion de sangre; Sing; A Bird Black as the Sun; Spring Salmon, Hurry to Me; Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers; The Dirt is Red Here; Through the Eye of the Deer; Yellow Medicine Review, Codex, Platte Valley Review, Natural Bridge Literary Journal, News from Native California, Bellingham Review, Bellowing Ark, Callaloo, Calyx, The Cimarron review, Poets On, Raven Chronicles, Snake Nation Review, Southern California Quarterly, Weber Studies, West Wind Review, Wilderness.


Guest lecturer, Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars (SUSI) on Contemporary American Literature, hosted by Seattle U, July 2019.

Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. “Desert Nights, Rising Stars” speaker and memoir workshop leader. February 22-23, 2019. Tempe, Arizona.

Split This Rock reader @ Poets & Busboys, Washington D. C. June 17, 2018.

“Writing Bad Indians” talk and reading; “Writing Your Bad Indians” memoir workshop for Diné community

members. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque New Mexico. October 12-13, 2018.

Guest lecturer in Dr. Julie Phillips Brown’s poetry workshop, Virginia Military Institute. 9/28/18.

“Summoning Creative Power.” Workshop leader. Memoir workshop at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center.

July 8-13, 2018.

Guest lecturer, “Latin American Poetics,” in Professor Seth Michelson’s class. 2/16/18.

“Words for Water” performance at The Whitney Art Museum in New York, with Natalie Diaz, Jennifer Foerster, Joy Harjo, Toni Jensen, Layli Long Solider, Deborah Miranda, and Laura Ortman and contributions by Heid E. Erdrich and Louise Erdrich.  March 2017.

Reading, UC Santa Barbara.  May 4, 2017.

“Indigenous Women on the Frontlines” reading and award recipient. Debs Park, Los Angeles California. August 5, 2017.

University of San Francisco.  October 12, 2017.  Lecture/reading.

Outside the Border(s): Art and the Political Imagination, with Eduardo Corral.  Cornell U, October 25, 2017.

New Letters on the Air (recorded 2016, aired October 2017

Humboldt State U, Eureka CA.  October 19, 2017.  Reading, classroom visits.

San Jose Poetry Festival, San Jose CA.  October 21 & 22, 2017.  Featured reader, workshop leader.

Roanoke College. Roanoke, Virginia. 9/21/2017.

Haverford College.  Haverford, Pennsylvania.  11/2-3/2016.

Bryn Mawr College.  Haverford, Pennsylvania.  11/2-3/2016.

Pacific Lutheran University Visiting Writers Series.  Tacoma, WA.  10/13/2016

Tea for Two Writers Series. With Karenne Wood.  Richmond VA.  6/3/2016.

Indigenous Writers Read at Library of Congress, Washington D.C. 5/10/16.

“Cross X Bridge: Indigenous Poets, Genre, and Native Literature.”  Split This Rock Poetry Festival. 4/14/16.

“Macondistas: Plaza de cultura y artes.”  Los Angeles. 4/1/16

“Pleiades Visiting Writer Series.” U of Central Missouri.  2/4/16.

"Indigenous Women and the Word: Poetry, Passion and Politics" with Lorna de Cervantes.  Seattle University.  1/14/16.

PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award ceremony.  12/5/15.

High Point University, NC.  11/18/15.

“First Peoples: Indigenous Writers from Australia and North America,” at UVA in Charlottesville, VA.  9/16/15.

Litquake Reading, San Francisco CA. “Using Words as Arrows: Contemporary Native American Writers”  with Natalie Diaz, Joy Harjo, Gordon Henry, Greg Sarris.  (Podcast available at  October 17, 2013.


Wells College. “Indigenous Women’s Experiences.” Lisa Kahaleole, Professor. April 16, 2018.

Miami (Ohio) University. "Memoir as Social Criticism." Daisy Hernandez, Professor. 10/25/16.

Kenyon College.  “Unlearning Native America.”  Janet McAdams, Professor.  10/13/16.

U of Illinois/Champaign. “Native American Memoirs.”  Joy Harjo, Professor.  University of Illinois. 12/1/15.

Emory University. “Native Literature, Gender & Sexuality.” Mandy Suhr-Sytsma, Lecturer. 3/6/14

U of Hawai’i-Manoa.  Susan Schultz, Professor. (Documentary Writing), 3/13/14

SUNY Oneonta.  Susan Bernadin, Professor. (Native American Lit) 3/26/14

CSU Northridge.  Kimberly Robertson, Professor (Intro to American Indian Studies), 12/2/14.

OTHER READINGS: California State U San Marcos, CA.  UC Santa Barbara.  6th Annual Heyday Harvest.  California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA.  City College of San Francisco.  EastWind Books Berkeley CA. Washington and Lee U, Lexington. California State University at Monterey Bay. Oregon State U, Corvallis OR. Kenyon College, Gambier OH. AWP Conference, Boston MA. Wheelock College, Boston MA. Virginia Festival of the Book 2013. Native American Literature Symposium, Minneapolis MN. Syracuse University, Syracuse NY. SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta NY. Tia Chucha's Bookstore and Cultural Center, Sylmar CA. Cabrillo College, Aptos CA; UCLA. Los Angeles Festival of Books at University of Southern California.