Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Mary Scriver went to college in Evanston, just to the north of Chicago, at Northwestern University, graduating in 1961. Her focus was writing and theatre. On the way back home, she fell in love with the Montana Blackfeet Reservation and stayed until 1973, teaching high-school English. She partnered with Bob Scriver, a major Western sculptor.
In 1973 she returned to Portland and took a job as an animal control officer and spent five years going door-to-door about complaints and responding to emergencies.
In 1978 she returned to the University of Chicago where she earned both a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and a Master of Divinity. Until 1988 she was a Unitarian Universalist minister. From '89 to '91 she again taught on the Blackfeet Reservation.
In the last years before retirement Mary worked for the City of Portland. In 1999 she returned to the edge of the Blackfeet Reservation with enough retirement money to concentrate on writing. Her biography of Bob Scriver, Bronze Inside and Out, was published in 2007 by the University of Calgary Press. She self-publishes at www.lulu.com/prairiemary, mostly materials about Blackfeet for Blackfeet to use.
Mary Scriver works in myth and story. Living at the edge of the Blackfeet Reservation, in sight of the Rocky Mountains, she sits in her book-lined but humble house reading and writing. All lives interest her, past and present, but mostly the lives of this place. Sometimes an Internet address counts as place. Scriver's mother always admonished her to "take care of your little brothers." Now she listens to and for them, carefully, from great distances.
In another life, Tim Barrus was the more infamous Nasdijj. His literary scandals have included such notorious books as Genocide, which was a nightmare's vision of a world ravaged by AIDS, The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, The Boy and the Dog are Sleeping, and Anywhere, Anywhere. Barrus was an editor at Drummer Magazine and Knights Press. His writing awards under all his names are numerous. But what most people don't know is that he taught deaf children in San Francisco, emotionally disturbed children in Los Angeles, Native American children in New Mexico, Head Start children in Michigan, and blind children in New York. Barrus considers Paris his "home in exile." But with Cinematheque Films, he's always on the road. There are people who think Tim Barrus is a fiction himself, but he's flesh and blood, and his home is where his hat is hung. Most of the following conversation with Barrus took place at Connemara, the Carl Sandburg estate where Barrus was filming Until They Arrive Home Again.