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Maurice Francis Kenny
(1929 - living) U.S.A.

Maurice Kenny



Maurice Kenny was born in Watertown, New York State, to a Mohawk Indian father and a part Seneca mother. Kenny lived with his mother in New York after his parents separated when he was nine. Following a brief spell of juvenile delinquency he returned to live with his father, and began to identify with his father's Mohawk heritage.

Discovering Walt Whitman as a teenager, Kenny was inspired to write poetry that drew upon Native American oral traditions and culture. Kenny was educated at Butler University, in Indiana, at St Lawrence University in New York, and at New York University. In the early to mid-60's he lived in Mexico and the Virgin Islands, moving to Chicago for one year. From Chicago he moved to Brooklyn where he lived until his recent return to the Adirondack country of upstate New York.

Following his first collection of poems he di not publish again until he settled in Brooklin in 1967. In 1976 Kenny came out as gay with Tinselled Buck: An Historical Study in Indian Homosexuality and with the poem Winkte in "Gay Sunshine". Kenny is one of the most important Native American poets of the twentieth century.


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