William S. Penn

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William S. Penn
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

William S. Penn is a mixed race Nez Pierce author and English professor at Michigan State. His work explores the issues his father faced coming to terms with his Indian heritage. His work may be classified as magical realism. He has also written a nonfiction work, All My Sins are Relatives about his mixed-blood family life.

William S. Penn is an urban mixed-blood Nez Perce. Born and raised in the West, he has lived in many different regions of the United States, as well as in England. He was educated at the University of California at Davis and at Syracuse University. He has previously taught at the State University of New York at Oswego and at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx. Recently awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award by Michigan State University, he teaches courses in the oral tradition, comedy and cultural survival, the Literatures of the Americas, and creative writing.

William uses his writing to explore and reconcile his mixed ethnic heritage, writing fiction, essays and reviews. His works have been included in Antaeus, Missouri Review, Quarterly West, Stand, and Southern Humanities Review, Guest Editor for Callaloo.