Native American Poets and Writers
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 06:17This is a list of some of the prominent, but certainly not all, Native American poets and writers from or teaching in border states in the U.S.
Zepeda is a Tohono O'odham poet, writer and professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona. Zepeda has published several books, her most recently titled Where Clouds are Formed (UA Press 2008). Zepeda is bilingual and writes poems in both English and O'odham. Her other books are Jewed 'I-hoi / Earth Movements (Kore Press 1997) and Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (UA Press 1995). She's also the author of the first Tohono O'odham grammar book. Click here to read an excerpt from Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert.
Leslie Marmon Silko
Marmon Silko is a Native American poet, novelist and essayist from the Laguna Pueblo tribe in west central New Mexico, 45 miles outside of Albuquerque. Marmon Silko taught at the University of Arizona until she won the MacArthur Genius Award, after which she devoted her time to writing. Her novels include Ceremony (Viking 1997), Almanac of the Dead (Simon and Schuster 1991) and Gardens in the Dunes (Simon and Schuster 1999). She has also written six different collections of poetry and short stories, the most recent being Love Poem and the Slim Canyon (1996).
Bitsui is Diné, originally from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Bitsui has earned multiple writing awards for his poems, including the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship. He has published two books, Shapeshift (UA Press 2003) and Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press 2009), the latter of which won the 2010 PEN Open Book Award and an American Book Award. Click here to visit Bitsui's website and blog. Click here to read River a poem by Bitsui.
Born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Washburn is currently (2011) an Associate Professor in the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona. Washburn is a fiction writer who draws from her experiences as a Native American woman.Her most recent novel titled The Sacred White Turkey was published in 2010 (University of Nebraska Press). She is also the author of one other novel, Elsie's Business (University of Nebraska Press 2006).
Harjo is a Native American poet, originally from Tulsa, Okla. and a member of the Mvskoke Creek Nation. She has taught at several Southwest universities including University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, University of Arizona and Arizona State University. She has written seven books of poetry, her most recent titled How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2001 (Norton 2002). Click here to read the poem "She Had Some Horses." She also produces original music and has recently release a CD titled "Red Dreams." Click here to listen.
Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian writer who has published an array of poetry, novels, and collection of stories including his most recent novel, War Dances, which won the 2010 PEN, Faulkner Award for Fiction. He has also written three movies, 49?, Smoke Signals and The Business of Fancydancing. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, 50 miles from Spokane, WA. Visit Alexie's Website at here.
Tapahonso is a Diné poet, writer and professor at the University of Arizona, originally from Shiprock, New Mexico. She teaches American Indian literature and creative writing courses. Tapahonso is the author of three children's books and five books of poetry. Her most recent book was published in 2008, A Radiant Curve: Poems and Stories. Tapahonso's other books include, Blue Horses Rush In: Poems and Stories, Saanii Dahataal/The Women are Singing: Poems and Stories and A Breeze Swept Through. Click here and read an excerpt from Saanii Dahataal/The Women are Singing: Poems and Stories.
Vizenor is a poet and member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe and was raised from a young age on the White Earth Reservation. Currently a professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and a professor at the University of New Mexico, Vizenor has written more than 20 books of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. His most recent poetry collection is titled Almost Ashore: Selected Poems (Salt Publishing 2006). His novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China (University of Minnesota Press 1990) won the New York Fiction Collective Prize and an American Book Award. To read "Tyranny of Moths," a poem by Vizenor, click here.
Simon J. Ortiz
Ortiz is a fiction and non-fiction writer as well as a poet. Born and raised in New Mexico, Ortiz is an Acoma Pueblo Indian. According to the Poetry Foundation, Ortiz's poetry has been heavily influenced by his culture as well as the work of other poets like Walt Whitman and the Beat movement poets. His most recent publication is a children'd book titled The Good Rainbow Road (UA Press 2004). A previous publication, From Sand Creek: Rising In This Heart Which Is Our America (1981), won the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. Click here to read "Culture and the Universe" a poem by Ortiz.
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Stalk us at:
Border Beat BlogsEducación en la Frontera
By: Shannon Maule
A look at higher education in regard to those who have and have not been able to travel from various countries to the United States. Stories from people in the higher education world relating to the border.A Mosaic America
By: Rachel Kolinski
"Exploring Diversity one Face at a Time"
By: Hope Jamieson
Explore dance throughout the borderlands.A City of Musical Diversity
By: Maria Teracena
Tucson musicians influence and are influenced by the sounds of the world.Culture Crossing
By: Chelsey Barthel
American borders are crossed every day by cultures of all kind. These stories tell the personal experiences of people from different lands, offering further insight into the difference of cultures.
By: Lauren Inouye
A look at Mexican and Latin films that reflect culture, politics, and society -- reviews, research and analysis.
By: Charles Misra
Stories about martial arts and combat sports with a cultural twist, all finding a home in America's southwestern borderlands.Border People
By: Jamie Turow
Profiles of English language learners.
By: Jessica Hoerth
Meet some of the people in Tucson who have made the journey across the border as they share what they came in search of and what struggles they may have encountered along the way.
By: Lauren Urratio
Fashion and how it is impacted by the border and international cultures.
By: Lucy Valencia
News from along the border with MexicoThe Border Project
By: Melissa Guz
"The Border Project" is an art showcase located in the University of Arizona's Museum of Art. It has over 40+ art pieces related to border issues.Athletics and the Border
By: Preston Fawcett
Get to know high school coachs and athletes from Arizona border towns or from Mexico and their struggles to get to where they are.
By: Audrey A. Fitzsimmons
The Southwest boasts of diverse ethnic backgrounds and a wealth of interesting personalities. Border Personalities is dedicated to the people of the Southwest and their stories.
By: Jeff Kessler
U.S. - Mexico border issues, current events, and interesting local storiesMusic of the Border
By: Steven Schiraldi
Music reviews of musical works by Mexican or other ethnic artists.
By: Brett Haupt
A visual exploration of America’s last frontier -- pictures and videos from different areas of the wall and fence that separate two different worlds and insight into what really stands between the United States and Mexico, ramifications of wall building and what it means for the average citizen.Border Athletes
By: Lauren Sokol
Meet international student athletes at the University of Arizona, a look at the recruiting process that helped them find a temporary home in the desert, and culture changes that the athletes might have endured.Journey Across the Border
By: Emily Kjesbo
Spotlighting Mexico’s top travel destinations, as well as a few of its hidden gems.Border Shots
By: Keith Perfetti
A photojournalist looks at how other photographers have viewed the border and shoots lesser known spots of the southwest.
MLS Soccer comes to the Desert
By: Jeff Kessler
All about the 2012 Desert Diamond Cup, a 10 day exhibition soccer tournament featuring four Major League Soccor teams coming to Tucson.