Erdrich, Heid E. 1963- (Heid Ellen Erdrich)

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Erdrich, Heid E. 1963- (Heid Ellen Erdrich)


Born November, 1963, in Breckenridge, MN; married; children: two. Education: Graduate of Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University.


Home—St. Paul, MN.


Taught at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN; University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, professor of writing and Native American literature. Cofounder, with sister Louise Erdrich, of Turtle Mountain Writing Workshop and Birchbark Books Press, Minneapolis, MN.


Awards from the Loft Literary Center, Minnesota State Arts Board, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers, and Archibald Bush Foundation.


Maria Tallchief (children's picture book), illustrated by Rick Whipple, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1993.

Fishing for Myth: Poems, New Rivers Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.

(Editor, with Laura Tohe) Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community, foreword by Winona LaDuke, Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN), 2002.

The Mother's Tongue (poems), Salt Publishing (Cambridge, England), 2005.

Author of play Curiosities: A Play in Two Centuries; contributor to periodicals, including Circle, Cream City Review, Flyway, and Borealis: Journal of Northern Culture; work represented in collections, including The Talking of Hands: Unpublished Writing by New Rivers Press Authors, 1998; Motives for Writing, 2002; and Traces in Blood, Bone and Stone, Loonfeather Press (Bemidji, MN), 2004.


Heid E. Erdrich is a poet and educator who is the daughter of a German-American father and Ojibwe mother. Born in Minnesota, she grew up in North Dakota on the Ojibwe Turtle Mountain reserva- tion where her parents taught school. For many years an educator herself, she has taught and mentored many students and emerging writers. Erdrich learned the Ojibwe language as an adult and works closely with Native American writers and artists of the area.

Erdrich is the editor, with Laura Tohe, of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community, a collection of poetry, essays, and short fiction by forty-nine Native American women, including Erdrich's sister, writer Louise Erdrich. The writings reflect the cultures of their creators, family experiences, both good and bad, and what it is like to be a Native woman in a white world. Library Journal contributor Sue Samson called them "well-written stories of very real experiences and emotions."

The poems of The Mother's Tongue, Erdrich's second collection, are presented in the order of motherhood, from making the decision to have a child to pregnancy, birth, and life as a mother. Erdrich acknowledges that a woman need not be a mother to be fulfilled and also reveals the changes motherhood has made in her as a person, especially a creative person. The title is a reference to the mother as a teacher of language. Erin Lynn Marsh reviewed the collection for, writing: "While reading Heid Erdrich's book, one is brought into the experience of motherhood through the myriad of voices the author has taken on in her journey."



Library Journal, June 1, 2002, Sue Samson, review of Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community, p. 149.

ONLINE, (March 30, 2006), Erin Lynn Marsh, review of The Mother's Tongue.