Minnie Bruce Pratt

1946 –

Minnie Bruce Pratt was born on September 12, 1946, in Selma, Alabama, and grew up in Centreville. She attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bruce Pratt’s books of poetry include Magnified (Wesleyan University Press, 2021); The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry; Walking Back Up Depot Street (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), which was named book of the year by ForeWord magazine in the Gay/Lesbian category and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry; Crime Against Nature (Firebrand Books, 1990), which was chosen as the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Poetry Selection and received the American Library Association’s Gay and Lesbian Book Award for Literature; and We Say We Love Each Other (University of Michigan Press, 1985).

With Elly Bulkin and Barbara Smith, she coauthored Yours In Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives On Anti-Semitism and Racism (Firebrand Books, 1988), which has been adopted for classroom use in hundreds of college courses. In 1991, Pratt was chosen, along with lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, to receive a Lillian Hellman/Dashiell Hammett Award from the Fund for Free Expression. In 1992, Bruce Pratt’s book of autobiographical and political essays Rebellion: Essays 1980–1991 (Firebrand Books, 1991), was a finalist in nonfiction for the Lambda Literary Awards. Her book of prose stories about gender-boundary crossing, S/HE (Firebrand Books, 1995), was one of five finalists in nonfiction for the American Library Association’s 1995 Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award, as well as one of three finalists for the Firecracker Award in nonfiction. Pratt has also been granted a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For five years, Bruce Pratt was a member of the editorial collective of Feminary: A Feminist Journal for the South, Emphasizing Lesbian Visions. In spring 2000, Bruce Pratt was a community writer in residence for the YMCA National Writer’s Voice Program, and from 2002–2003 she was the Jane Watson Irwin Chair in women’s studies at Hamilton College. 

Minnie Bruce Pratt died on July 2, 2023.