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Minnie Bruce Pratt

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Citizenship  American
Years active  1975-present

Name  Minnie Pratt
Role  Educator
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Born  September 12, 1946 (age 69) Selma, Alabama (1946-09-12)
Occupation  Professor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University
Alma mater  University of Alabama (BA, 1968) University of North Carolina (Ph.D, 1979)
Subject  race, class, gender and sexual theory
Children  Ransom Weaver Ben Weaver
Spouse  Leslie Feinberg (m. 2011–2014)
Education  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Alabama
Awards  James Laughlin Award
Nominations  Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
Books  Crime Against Nature, S/He, The Dirt She Ate: Selected, Walking Back Up Depot Str, We say we love each other

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Minnie Bruce Pratt (born September 12, 1946 in Selma, Alabama) is an American educator, activist and essayist. She is a 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 Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Study Program.


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Early life and education

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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).


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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."

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

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

Social activism

In 1977, Pratt helped found WomonWrites, a Southeastern lesbian writers conference. While attending the University of North Carolina in 1978, she joined Feminary, southern feminist writing collective based in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. 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.

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

Personal life

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

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 criminalised homosexual activity at the time.

Published works

  • 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

  • 1989 - Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets for Crime Against Nature
  • 1990 - Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry, from the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1990 - Harriete Simpson Arnow Prize for Poetry, from The American Voice
  • 1991 - American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award in Literature for Crime Against Nature
  • 1999 - Independent Booksellers Award for Walking Back Up Depot Street
  • 2002 - Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, "Picking Up a Job Application"
  • 2003 - Lambda Literary Award for The Dirt She Ate
  • 2005 - Fellowship in Poetry, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • 2012 - Publishing Triangle's Audre Lorde Award for Inside the Money Machine
  • References

    Minnie Bruce Pratt Wikipedia

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