toni mcnaron's garden
Toni McNaron

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photos by Patti Frazee 


Toni A.H. McNaron is an educator, memoirist and lesbian feminist critic. She taught literature and Women’s Studies at the University of Minnesota for thirty-seven years. Upon retirement, the University of Minnesota recognized her as a Distinguished Teaching Professor.

McNaron’s critically acclaimed first memoir, I Dwell in Possibility, was published in 1992 as part of the Cross-Cultural Memoir Series from The Feminist Press. She also wrote Poisoned Ivy:  Lesbian and Gay Academics Confront Homophobia (Temple University Press, 1996), a compelling ethnographic study of homophobia in the academy.  She edited  The Sister Bond:  A Feminist View of a Timeless Connection and co-edited Voices in the Night: Women Speaking About Incest and New Lesbian Studies: Into the 21st Century. 

While at the University of Minnesota (1964-2001), McNaron founded and chaired the Women’s Studies Program, the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and the GLBT Studies Program. She won four Outstanding Teaching awards and an award for Outstanding Service to the Community. Her interest in women’s spirituality, and more recently lesbian spirituality, has been a lifelong passion.

Into the Paradox: Conservative Spirit, Feminist Politics was released in October 2013 by Hurley Publishing. McNaron is currently working on a collection of essays entitled An Amethyst Remembrance,