Of Abenaki and French Canadian heritage, Cheryl Savageau was born in central Massachusetts. She graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and studied writing at the People’s Poets and Writers Workshop in Worcester. She is the author of the poetry collections Home Country (1992), Dirt Road Home: Poems (1995) nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Mother/Land (2006).
Savageau’s poetry retells Abenaki stories, often focusing on the unrecognized lives of women and the working class; her work is enriched by the landscape and ecology of New England. Her knowledge of lakes, ecology, and the importance of storytelling informed her children’s book Muskrat Will Be Swimming (1996), a winner of the Notable Book for Children Award from the Smithsonian and the Skipping Stones Book Award for Exceptional Multicultural and Ecology and Nature Books.
Savageau has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Arts Foundation. She has been a mentor to Native American writers through the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.