Diane Glancy was born Helen Diane Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, to a Cherokee father and English-German mother. In her interview with Andrews, Glancy describes her mother as a “very hard, disciplined, punctual woman” and says she had “a lot of discomfort” with her. Glancy grew up aware that her mother disliked her father’s side of the family. As a child, Glancy experienced difficulty in attempting to reconcile her Cherokee background with representations of the Plains Indians taught to her in school, but she remembers her father explaining, “we were Indian.” In her primary education, Glancy learned that Plains Indians hunted buffalo and lived in teepees, yet her family farmed and was nothing like the Indians she learned about in school. Although she recognized that her father’s ancestry was not comparable to the Plains Indians presented in her schooling, this incongruence of Indian culture provided the basis of what has now become a theme of mixed identity, a subject that continues to permeate her work. Early in her life, she chose to redefine her identity as a Cherokee Native American, accepting the consequences and struggles inherent in claiming a Native American heritage.
Glancy began to use poetry as a means of locating her own native voice. In 1964, Glancy earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of Missouri. That same year, she married Dwane Glancy, with whom she had two children, David and Jennifer. After being...
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