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Sample Autograph Signature: Maurice Kenny

American poet, short story writer, editor, playwright, and educator. Maurice Francis Kenny was born in Saranac Lake, NY in 1929 to a Canadian Mohawk father and a part Seneca mother. He moved to New Jersey to live with his mother after his parents divorced in 1942, but his truancy led a judge to recommend his placement in a reform school. His father intervened and he returned to Saranac Lake with his father to complete high school. It was during this time that Kenny began writing poetry and identifying strongly with his father's Iroquois culture. He enrolled in Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) in 1952 and earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1956, then entered St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. It was also in 1956 that he published in his first chapbook of poems, The Hopeless Kill, after being encouraged by novelist Douglas Angus. He moved from Saranac Lake to Brooklyn in 1957 where he taught at the Mary Taracai School of Drama and studied at New York University under poet Louise Bogan who guided the publication of his first major collection of poetry, Dead Letters Sent, and Other Poems (1958). He published two other collections before relocating to Mexico and the Virgin Islands in the early to mid-1960s, then moving to Chicago for a year, before returning to Brooklyn where he lived until his recent return to Saranac Lake. Kenny has published over twenty-five collections of poetry, 6 works of fiction, essays, and three textbooks. His work has appeared in over sixty anthologies, many magazines and journals in several languages, in several radio, television and film productions. He has been the co-editor of the literary review magazine Contact/II, as well as the editor/publisher of Strawberry Press. Two of Kenny's books of poems, Blackrobe: Isaac Jogues B. March 11, 1607, D. October 18, 1646 (1982) and Between Two Rivers were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His The Mama Poems received the American Book Award for 1984, and he has also won a Boston Globe Award and a William Carlos Williams Award. He has served as a is poet-in-residence or visiting professor at numerous colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, but is currently Poet-in-Residence and a professor at North Community College at Saranac Lake and visiting professor at Paul Smith College. St. Lawrence University honored him in 1995 with an honorary doctorate.

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