B.A., The Evergreen State College, 2006
M.F.A., Goddard College, 2011
About Patricia's book: “Remedies" is a deeply original autobiographical fiction that chronicles the lives of five generations of women. Patricia has a lovely way of approaching her own work which is intimate and deeply empathic to the power of language. It is evident from page one that her writing erupts from a place of necessity. It is beautifully layered and brought to life through image-driven vignettes that have been pared down into razor-sharp scenes. The stories convey tragedy and comedy in equal portions. Wombs and halos, mothers and daughters: the story is circular—the beginning has a before, and the ending is not the end. At the bottom of most pages Patricia has created a parallel existence that consists of incantations, proverbs, and recipes that provide another layer of running commentary. Patricia is emerging as a writer confident and skillful in the subtle art of hybrid writing."
Latest Publication Title
Remedies, Blue Hand Books
Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects
From Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects: One quarter of all Indian children were removed from their families and placed in non-Indian adoptive and foster homes or orphanages, as part of the Indian Adoption Projects….. One study found that in sixteen states in 1969, 85 percent of the Indian children were placed in non-Indian homes. Where are these children now?
“TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects” is an important contribution to American Indian history. Trace A. DeMeyer and Patricia Cotter-Busbee, the co-editors and adoptees, located other Native adult survivors of adoption and asked them to write a narrative. The adoptees share their unique experience of living in Two Worlds, surviving assimilation via adoption, opening sealed adoption records, and in most cases, a reunion with their tribal relatives. Indigenous identity and historical trauma takes on a whole new meaning in this adoption anthology.
This anthology covers the history of Indian child removals in North America, the adoption projects, their impact on Indian Country and how it impacts the adoptee and their families.
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
All the women in my family are Evergreen graduates. I am deeply grateful for my education. My education has assisted me in all areas of my life. I enrolled in several independent contracts during my time at Evergreen. This way of learning and thinking taught me how to work independently. This is the number one skill every writer needs to have. Independent contracts prepared me for Goddard College. I was accepted into their MFA program in creative writing. I was only on campus twice a year. All my work was sent to my adviser by mail. I’m not sure I would have graduated Goddard had I not had this skill prior to enrolling.
I recently helped a close friend write all of her court documents. This case was extremely challenging and it went on for over a year. My friend was being oppressed, violated and taken advantage of in very unfair ways. She was a single mother and unable to afford a lawyer. This long-term project inspired me to figure out how I might use these newfound skills to volunteer in my community in some way. Evergreen provided the foundation for this experience. I knew nothing about document writing and by the time the case ended I had gleaned valuable skills that can assist others. I thank Evergreen for this. My professors taught me how to educate myself. I also learned how to be an advocate for my friend. Over the years I have also been an advocate for my husband. He is a veteran with challenging health issues. Evergreen taught me how to problem solve and has also assisted me with learning how to expand my skills into other areas. This process continues.
I am first and foremost a creative writer but I have learned how to write legal documents, navigate a very challenging court system, and perform detailed research work. I first learned how to do research work at Evergreen. This skill in particular has been the most helpful since graduation. I have used this skill to research health issues such as PTSD, diabetes, DRESS syndrome, skin cancer and eating disorders.
As a writer, editor, publisher, mother, wife and alternative-healing practitioner, I use my research skills on a regular basis. I know how to research what books have been previously published on a topic I want to write about so that I can find my own unique perspective. I also learned how to create a website and how to market and publish my work.
I learned how to write in several genres which is helpful in selling smaller pieces and articles. I enrolled in non-fiction, fiction, novel writing, poetry, and character development courses during my time at Evergreen. Weaving in and out of genres has helped me to grow as a writer as my market grows and my skills expand.
At Evergreen I learned how to combine all of my skills and create a practical package that continues to grow. I am constantly challenged to think about how I might use my skills to assist others.