Cheryl Savageau

Plymouth State University hosted the first Eagle Pond Authors’ Series event of its 25th season on September 19, 2023. Abenaki and French Canadian poet Cheryl Savageau read from her poetry collections Dirt Road Home and Mother/Land, which explore facets of New England and Indigenous place and identity.

Savageau also read from her latest book, Out of the Crazywoods, which challenges readers to view all of New England as a fundamentally Indigenous space. Out of the Crazywoods is a memoir that explores Savageau’s struggle with mental illness through lyrical prose. Her poetry retells Abenaki stories, often focusing on the unrecognized lives of women and the working class. Other published works include Home Country and Muskrat will be Swimming, which was selected by Smithsonian Magazine as a Notable Book for Children and received the Skipping Stones Book Award for Exceptional Multicultural and Nature/Ecology Books.

Her newest collection of poems, Arcana Major, is expected later this year.

University of New Hampshire professor of English and Native American Literature Siobhan Senier describes Savageau’s poetry as a continuation of a tradition of Abenaki writing that can be traced back to precontact birchmark maps called “awikhiganak.”

“Cheryl Savageau’s affecting poems remind us that notions of identity, heritage, and home are complex, nuanced, intersectional, and both individually and collectively vital,” said PSU Professor of English and Eagle Pond Authors’ Series organizer Liz Ahl. “We are very fortunate to have her share this work with us in person.”

The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series was founded in 1998 by former United States and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Donald Hall and then director of the Silver Center for the Arts Diane Alexander Jeffrey. The series is sponsored by generous donors, brings nationally known poets to central New Hampshire, and is a memorable and meaningful part of the Granite State’s arts and cultural landscape.

Series readings are free and open to the public and are followed by a reception and book signing. The next presentation in this year’s series in on Tuesday, October 24, featuring Farnaz Fatemi, an award-winning Iranian American writer and editor and poet laureate of Santa Cruz, CA. For information and tickets, visit