Deborah Taffa is a citizen of the Yuma Nation and Laguna Pueblo. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Boston Review, LARB, A Public Space, Salon, Huffington Post, Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She earned her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction in Iowa City in 2013, and has been awarded fellowships from the New York State Summer Writers Institute, Tin House, the Ellen Meloy Fund, A Public Space, and WNDB. Her play, Parents Weekend, was performed at the Autry Theater’s 8th Annual Short Play Festival in Los Angeles in 2018. She is president of the literary magazine, River Styx, and was instrumental in starting a Native American Heritage Program in Missouri. Her manuscript, a memoir that interrogates historic injustices through a personal lens, was awarded the SFWP Lit Prize in December, 2019.
Deborah polished the final rendition of her memoir manuscript and started two new short stories while in residence at MacDowell. Just before arriving in Peterborough, she won the Pen America Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History and became the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her stay at MacDowell was magical, especially watching the lunar eclipse in the field behind Bond Hall.