Poet Emily Dickinson was born in 1930 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Although she was not famous during her lifetime—only seven of her almost 1800 poems were published while she lived, all heavily edited—she became known after her death as one of the most influential American poets.

Dickinson grew up in a large Amherst home called the Homestead. The family was well-known and influential in the area; Dickinson’s grandfather founded Amherst College and her father was a state legislator. Dickinson had an older brother and a younger sister, and all three siblings lived their whole lives at or near the Homestead.

Dickinson was very social and active as a child. She excelled at school and went on to complete one year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She never returned to the seminary after the first year, however; scholars don’t know exactly why, but many point to her poor physical or emotional health. Indeed, Dickinson continued to have health problems throughout her life and became increasingly secluded in her family home, dedicating most of her time to writing, gardening, and caring for her elderly mother.

Despite her poor health, Dickinson kept lively correspondence with many friends and several writers, including literary critic T.W. Higginson, editor Samuel Bowles, and Reverend Charles Wadsworth.

Although she sent out her poetry for publication, its experimental syntax and off-rhymes were rejected by most publishers. Those who did publish her work edited it heavily to reflect literary standards of the time. However, she continued to write prolifically and meticulously stored her poems in a box.

Dickinson’s sister Lavinia discovered the work after her death in 1886 and published many of them in a book in 1890. Dickinson’s complete works were not published in a single collection, however, until 1955. Her work is considered highly influential in shaping the direction of twentieth-century poetry.

Sadly, this is the final Women’s History Month post. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the influence women, authors and educators, have had on the literary and academic community, on the human experience. However, we won’t have much time to be sad, because April is National Poetry Month! Get ready to enjoy some amazing poems and poets with us here on the blog. To give you a glimmer of what that will be like, here’s one of our favorite Emily Dickinson poems:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Tags: , ,

~from intern Joyce Bohling

What brought you to CSU? The short answer is that I got the job! The position I applied for (American literature with a specialization in multi-ethnic writing and a side interest in modernist studies) seemed to me like a perfect fit and I was happy that the screening committee was interested in my work.

What made you want to stay? Immediately before coming to CSU I taught at a highly selective private liberal arts college and I was actually relieved to return to a public institution since my pre-doctoral education took place in public universities and I am committed to the idea that education should be accessible to a broad range of students.

What do you enjoy most about your work? I love hearing how my students work with texts that I am passionate about and learning different ways to approach texts from them. I also really enjoy my research, sharing it with friends and colleagues at conferences and informal conversations, and thinking about ways to incorporate it into my classes.

Why are the Humanities important? Because they provide ways of thinking that are open to possibilities beyond the purely instrumental purposes (how will this make money, how can this be used) and that therefore often drive truly transformational changes in society.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities? I began my educational career thinking that I would become an astrophysicist. During my freshman year in college I realized both that I was not as drawn to the topic as I had thought and that my rural high school had not prepared me for the advanced physics and math courses I was struggling with. During the following summer I worked on my parents’ farm and spent a large amount of my time reading (I particularly remember working through several Toni Morrison and Dostoyevsky novels). Sometime during this process I realized that there was a major where reading and thinking about what I was reading would be my primary job so I decided to try that.

What special project are you working on right now? Right now I’m in the middle of writing a book about race, ethnicity, and world building in 20th and 21st century science fiction.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? An astronomer.

What is your favorite thing to teach? Favorite thing about teaching? One of my favorite works of literature to teach is Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing how texts change depending on who is reading them and what’s going on in the world around us.

What advice would you give to a student taking a class in the English department? Talk to your professors outside of the classroom. It’s the best way to drive your learning forward.

What’s the best advice you ever received? My dad, who dropped out of college, always encouraged me to be willing to be flexible instead of thinking that if my plan A didn’t work (studying astrophysics) then I should just quit.

What’s your favorite word? I don’t play favorites…

What are you currently reading? I always have multiple books going so the current list includes: Viet Than Nguyen’s recent novel The Sympathizer, an ethnography of the Runa people in Ecuador called How Forest’s Think by Eduardo Kohn, and, two novels for the classes I’m teaching: John Edgar Wideman’s Philadelphia Fire and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being.

What don’t your colleagues know about you? How much time I spend talking to my cats.

What accomplishments are you most proud of? Publishing my first academic book last year was a milestone.

When you’re not working, what do you do? Visit with family and friends. I read for fun still and I also love cooking, listening to a wide range of music, and watching frequently awful TV and movies. I also play poker with a group of friends at a weekly game that I’ve been part of since I came to Fort Collins in 2009.

Tags: , ,

~from intern Joyce Bohling

I was raised on Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My mother would read the books to me each evening at bedtime. I had the Little House paper dolls and even, once, picked up the Little House cookbook in the children’s section of my local library. When I was getting into my “tween” years, I read Farmer Boy, an account of childhood stories about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband, Alamanzo. Of all of Wilder’s books, Farmer Boy sticks most clearly in my memory.

As those who read the books growing up will know, Wilder was born Laura Ingalls in Pepin, Wisconsin in 1867. She had an older sister, Mary, and later two younger sisters, Carrie and Grace. Wilder also had a younger brother, Charles Jr., who died at 9 months of age. Wilder chose to omit her younger brother from her autobiographical Little House series, perhaps because she wrote for a young audience and focused on joyful tales with happy endings.

The Ingalls moved around frequently, migrating to Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. When her family settled near De Smet, South Dakota, Wilder, age 15, received her teaching certificate and began to teach in a one-room schoolhouse. A family friend named Alamanzo Wilder often gave her rides to and from her family home and the school 12 miles away. Alamanzo and Laura courted and were married in 1885, after which they moved to Missouri to start their own homestead, which they named Rocky Ridge.

In the 1920s, the Wilders’ only surviving daughter, Rose, encouraged her mother to write about her early life. Wilder’s first-person account of her childhood between the ages of three and eighteen, Prairie Girl, was repeatedly rejected by publishers. Wilder, though, didn’t give up. She changed the point of view of the narration to third person, referring to herself as “Laura” and telling the story of the whole family in a way that would be relatable and entertaining to young children.

Wilder’s first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932 when Wilder was 65. She went on to publish many more books about her childhood, including Little House on the Prairie (1935), On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937), By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939), The Long Winter (1940), Little Town on the Prairie (1941), and These Happy Golden Years (1943). The story of her husband’s childhood, Farmer Boy, was published in 1933.

Wilder died in 1957 at the age of 90. Her books continued to gain popularity long after her death. They were re-issued with illustrations from Garth Williams in 1953 (the illustrations after which my paper dolls were modeled). A television show based on Wilder’s work called Little House on the Prairie ran from 1974 to 1982, creating interest in the books among my parents’ generation, who, in turn, shared them with me and many children in my generation.

Tags: , ,

Philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1956. Surrounded by the Hungarian and Russian Jewish traditions of her family, Butler attended a Hebrew school and took special classes on Jewish ethics. This education was the beginning of Butler’s introduction to philosophy.

In an interview with Haaretz, and Israeli newspaper, Butler said that “I began to be interested in philosophy when I was 14, and I was in trouble in the synagogue. The rabbi said ‘You are too talkative in class…You have to come have a tutorial with me.’ I said ‘OK, great!’ I was thrilled.”

From there, Butler’s interest in philosophy skyrocketed as she delved into work on gender and feminism. She went to college at Bennington College, moving to Yale University where she received her B.A. in 1978 and Ph.D. in 1984 in Philosophy.

Following those degrees, Butler moved on to become a professor at various prestigious universities, including Wesleyan University, George Washington University and John Hopkins University. She has been a professor at University of California, Berkeley since 1993 where she teaches in both the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory.

Most of Butler’s philosophical work has revolved around her theory of gender performativity, first presented in her 1990 book Gender Trouble. Her focus with this book was that gender is an improvised performance. With this book, she made great strides in the realm of feminist, women’s, gay and lesbian studies and queer theory.

As Butler explains in her Book Bodies that Matter published in 1992, “the misapprehension about gender performativity is this: that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which gender it will be today.” She is trying to break down the norms and stereotypes that modern society has about gender.

Video: Judith Butler talks about what it means that gender is performative.

Butler has played a large role in human rights activism, including her positions on the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. In 2004, she was awarded the Brunder Prize from Yale University for “lifetime achievement in gay and lesbian studies.” She won the 2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award for these contributions to the study of the humanities. In 2014, she received a diploma of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Cultural Ministry. The American Association of Geographers made her an “honorary geographer” in 2015. Butler’s considerable list of honors and acclaimed positions goes on, including nine honorary degrees from various universities around the world.

Judith Butler continues her work on gender performativity and challenges modern philosophical thinking. In recent years, she’s written on post-9/11 “war on terror” rhetoric, Guantánamo, Israel, and police brutality, and is starting to anticipate her eventual retirement from Berkeley. Another project she’s been considering with her friend Ken Corbett, a psychologist and writer, is a new version of Gender Trouble — illustrated, for kids ages 8 to 12.

Tags: , ,

President George W. Bush shares a moment with author Harper Lee Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, prior to presenting her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during ceremonies in the East Room of the White House. Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Harper Lee (born Nelle Harper Lee) was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. After attending the all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery, she transferred to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa where she pursued English literature.

Lee spent a year working towards the university’s law degree as an undergrad, but decided that writing was her true passion. At the age of 23, Lee arrived in New York City in 1949. In 1956, Lee received a gift from the family of Broadway composer and lyricist Michael Martin Brown, and they supported her in New York for a year. Lee quit her job and began writing full time, working on a manuscript that turned into To Kill a Mockingbird.

Her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960 and instantly became a classic American novel. In 1961, her novel won the Pulitzer Prize and in 1998, the Library Journal declared To Kill a Mockingbird the best novel of the 20th century. She was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature.

But following the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee abruptly stopped writing. In a letter sent to Oprah Winfrey’s magazine from Lee, she said that “in an abundant society where people have laptops, cellphones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.” Lee stopped giving interviews and returned to a solitary life in Monroeville.

As Telegraph explains, “that detachment is, clearly, necessary to her. It is the paradox of the novel that it could not have been written by someone in love with literary fame; that the fame it achieved and deserved killed off any prospect of a succeeding masterpiece.” It seems that this fame caused Lee to stop writing, and for decades she published no further work.

Back in 1967, Lee had written a prequel for To Kill a Mockingbird that she didn’t publish. The manuscript for Go Set a Watchman was submitted to Lee’s editor in ‘67, not long after the publication of her first novel. Lee believed that the manuscript was lost, explain that “after much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication.”

Go Set a Watchman abruptly appeared on bookshelves in July 2015, published by HarperCollins. While some readers were quick to share accolades with Lee about a second novel, others questioned her competence following decades of her reluctance to publish anything.

The New York Times explains that “in May 2013, her name [Lee] appeared in news reports and when she filed a lawsuit accusing her literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, of duping her into assigning the novel’s copyright to his company after a stroke she suffered in 2007 left her with impaired hearing and eyesight.”

While Lee’s mental competency was questioned, the novel had sold 1.6 million copies as of January 2016. In 2015, it also made the US bestseller list. Preorders alone turned it into an instant bestselling novel.

On February 19, 2016, Harper Lee died in her sleep at the age of 89. For members of the literary community, the release of Go Set a Watchman has not diminished Lee’s impact on the literary community. Today, To Kill a Mockingbird is still considered among one of America’s classics.

Video: In 1964, Harper Lee talked with WQXR host Roy Newquist for an interview in New York. For the first time, that interview is now available to listen to online. The interview is the only known recording of Lee discussing To Kill a Mockingbird, among other topics, and one of the last interviews she would ever give.

Tags: , ,

Poudre River, image by Jill Salahub

  • Recently, Tim Amidon presented research at two concurrent conferences in Portland: the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. At ATTW, Battalion Chief Randy Callahan of Poudre Fire Authority joined Tim to speak about the ongoing community based research projects that they have been undertaking in partnership.
  • Harrison Candelaria Fletcher’s flash piece, “Dawn,” was named as a finalist in The Best Small Fictions 2017 by guest judge Amy Hempel. “Dawn” was nominated by the editors of Eleven Eleven.
  • EJ Levy’s hybrid essay, “Natural World,” appears in the most recent issue of Passages North. She will be Visiting Writing at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on March 22-23, 2017.
  • Sasha Steensen’s chapbook, Thirty-Three Hendes was a finalist for the Tupelo Sunken Gardens chapbook contest. It will be published by Dancing Girl Press this summer.
  • Michael Knisely has a photography exhibit going on in Boulder through April at the Rocky Ridge School of Music in the Lucky’s Market shopping center at Broadway and Spruce. These are performance art photos from when he was the University of Nebraska Dance Dept.’s photographer, plus a few old concert photos (Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Bruce Springsteen).
  • Dana Chellman’s essay “How to Get to Heaven from Colorado” is a winner for the AWP Intro Journals Project, and it is being published in Iron Horse Literary Review.
  • Jennifer Stetson-Strange, Spring 2017 MA candidate in TEFL/TESL, has been offered an opportunity related to her final project, “Needs Analysis and Curriculum Development for Occupational ESP: English for hotel workers.”  Over the past nine months she dedicated over 80 hours to conducting a thorough needs analysis, compiling and analyzing specific language needs of L2 (second language) learners in order to develop a curriculum for workers in the hospitality industry and specifically housekeepers at a local hotel.

    Jenny observed more than 20 participants who worked in the housekeeping department of a local hotel in Northern Colorado.  She found it a rewarding experience to be a part of this project, including building key relationships with participants at the hotel.  At her final defense in March, the majority of the housekeeping staff attended as well as the general manager of the hotel, filling the defense room with 35-40 people.  Jenny was overwhelmed by the attendance and thankful they all were there because, as she writes, “The entire project was about them!”

    Currently, the general manager would like Jenny to implement the curriculum as soon as possible.  She will be teaching the staff once a week until she graduates.  This summer, she hopes to continue teaching the housekeeping staff twice a week.  Her future goal is to implement this program at different hotels and restaurants in Northern Colorado.

  • Mary Crow has had eight poems from her collection Addicted to the Horizon translated into Spanish by Silvia Soler-Gallego and Francisco Leal and published in AEREA: Revista Hispanoamericana de Poesia along with the English originals. This literary magazine is a joint publication of the University of Georgia and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute.
  • James Work’s novel The Contractor was voted First Finalist in the annual Spur Award competition of Western Writers of America. His first novel of a projected series of “cozy” mysteries has been accepted by FiveStar Publishing. The title is Unmentionable Murders and the main character of the series is a RMNP ranger in the 1920s. Lots of gangsters, flappers, bootleg hooch and, of course, mysterious murder.
  • Cedar Brant has a sculpture in the CSU Art and Science Exhibition in the Curfman Gallery in Lory Student Center.  http://source.colostate.edu/celebrate-creativity-csus-art-science-exhibition-march-24/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Caleb Gonzalez
First Year M.A. Student, Creative Nonfiction
Graduate Teaching Assistant for CO150

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall? I spend my time in the computer lab on the third floor, doing my homework, printing out stories for my classes and getting ready for my CO150 classes.

What’s your favorite English class or teacher? Debby Thompson. It’s really fun to go to her office and gripe about the current political situation with her, as we have very similar views about the world. She just gives really good feedback, especially on the current “Cheese” essay that I wrote for workshop.

Tell us about the “Cheese” essay. I’m very excited about it! It’s my newest essay that I wrote based on a prompt in Debby’s class. Cheese is a metaphor for identity, class, race, and individual growth as a person.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word. Unpredictable. Also, my favorite word is “whimsical.”

What’s your favorite author or work of literature? One of them is Russian Journal by Andrea Lee. It’s a creative nonfiction book about her and her husband living in Russia as academics. She uses her experiences to make sense of the former Society Union and its relationship to the United States, as well, which is interesting. She was a staff writer for The New Yorker and has done a lot for the New York Times Magazine. Russian Journal was published in 1981.

If you were to give advice to incoming CSU grad students, what would it be? Trust yourself. Have confidence in your own writing. As hard as it might be, learn to be a part of the community.

Caleb’s mug says “I’m not saying I’m Batman, I’m just saying nobody has ever seen me and Batman in a room together.”

What’s your biggest goal or priority right now? I’m going to be facilitating Rekindle the Classics, and it will be on Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. So my biggest goal is to read that work and do a good job facilitating that work.

Tags: , ,

Margaret Sanger was a feminist, nurse, activist, writer, and national and international advocate for women’s access to contraception.

Sanger was born Margaret Higgins to an Irish-American family in 1879; she had ten siblings. She studied to become a nurse practitioner and began working toward a registered nursing degree at White Plains Hospital, but her education ended when she was married in 1902. She and William Sanger had three children but later separated, and Sanger remarried James Noah H. Slee in 1922.

While living in New York City with her first husband and children, Sanger became very interested in living conditions for working-class women and particularly the burden of frequent pregnancies and large families on these women.

At that time, a federal law called the Comstock law forbade the distribution of information about sexual health and contraception, which was considered obscene. Sanger repeatedly disobeyed this law, first publishing a column about sexual health in the New York Call titled “What Every Girl Should Know” and later publishing and distributing a periodical titled The Woman Rebel. It was this publication which coined the term “birth control.” In 1914, Sanger was indicted for violating the Comstock law.

To evade imprisonment, Sanger lived in England for about a year until charges against her were dropped. After returning to the United States, she continued to resist the law, opening a birth control clinic. Police shut the clinic down after 9 days, and Sanger was arrested and imprisoned for thirty days.

Despite these setbacks, Sanger’s work was gaining increasing attention and support. Sanger went on to found a medical journal called the Birth Control Review and later the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. Because even the words “birth control” were considered too explicit at the time, the organization later changed its name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sanger continued to advocate for birth control throughout her life. In the 1950s, she worked with the International Planned Parenthood Federation and was a primary advocate for the development of the first birth control pill. Sanger died at 86 years of age in 1966.

Tags: , ,

CSU’s own Professor Camille Dungy is an award-winning author of four full-length poetry collections and the editor of three poetry anthologies. Her first collection of literary essays, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, will be published in June.

Dungy was born in Denver in 1972, but her family moved frequently around the country when she was a child. She attended Stanford as an undergraduate and later received an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

When Dungy’s first collection of poetry, What to Eat, What to Drink, and What to Leave for Poison, appeared in 2006, it was widely praised. It was a finalist for the 2007 PEN USA Book Award and the 2007 Library of Virginia Literary Award. In 2010, Dungy published two additional poetry collections: Suck on the Marrow and Smith Blue. The collections’ recurring themes include African American identity and history, as well as nature and the human relationship to nature.

Noticing the scarcity of African American writers in canonized nature poetry, Dungy edited an anthology titled Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, which was published in 2009.

In a 2010 interview on National Public Radio, Dungy spoke about the complex relationship the anthology explores between African Americans and nature, saying, “there has always been promise and survival in the natural world” for African American people.

Dungy also collaboratively edited Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade in 2006 and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems That Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great in 2009.

Dungy’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and eleven anthologies to date, including The Best American Poetry and The 100 Best African American Poems. She has received fellowships and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, Cave Canem, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Djerrassi Resident Artist Program, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Norton Island Artist Residency Program. Her work has received the Dana Award, the Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award, and two Northern California Book Awards. She has twice been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in 2010 and 2011.

Dungy’s most recent collection, Trophic Cascade, was released on March 7 of this year. On Sunday, March 5, friends, family, faculty, and students gathered at Forge Publick House in Old Town for the book’s release party, eager to hear Dungy read from her newest collection.

The gathering also honored recently-published poetry collections by Colorado poets Eleni Sikelanios (Make Yourself Happy) and Julie Carr (Objects from a Borrowed Confession).

Like many of Dungy’s previous works, Trophic Cascade explores and illuminates the natural world, but motherhood also features prominently as a theme. As Dungy stepped up to the microphone to read, her daughter clung to the hem of her skirt, not wanting to sit quietly with her father and grandparents while her mother read. In fact, Dungy had collaborated with her daughter in choosing poems about their relationship to read for the event. One poem dwelled on a quiet moment reading books with the infant girl; another answered a “frequently asked question” about whether the author plans to have another child. (She doesn’t.)

Camille and her daughter at the March 7 reading

The collection’s title poem, “Trophic Cascade,” was first published by the Kenyon Review in 2015. “Trophic Cascade” traces the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the interconnectedness of lives and species evidenced by it; the wolves affected deer, trees, bears, birds, weasels, berries, and even insects. Throughout the collection, the reader witnesses again and again the impact one life has upon another.

Dungy has a second publication coming up this year; her first nonfiction collection, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, will be available on June 13.

Tags: , ,

Luci Tapahonso is a Navajo poet and a lecturer in Native American Studies. Born in 1953, she was raised on her family farm on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico with her eleven siblings. English was not her first language, but rather something she learned second to her native Navajo language, Dine. She learned English at home before starting school, which she attended in the area, graduating from high school in 1971.

Tapahonso was a a journalist and investigative reporter before beginning her studies at the University of New Mexico in 1976. She intended to study journalism there, but met faculty member, novelist and poet Leslie Marmon Silko, who convinced her to switch her major to creative writing. She went on to earn her MA in creative writing, and then to teach.

Silko helped Tapahonso publish her first story, “The Snake Man”, in 1978. Her first collection of poetry, put together when she was an undergraduate, was published in 1981. Several more collections followed, as well as individual poems published in various journals. Her 1993 collection Saánii Dahataal (the women are singing), written in Navajo and English, was the first collection to bring her acclaim and recognition, which continued with her 1997 blue horses rush in. Her book of poetry A Radiant Curve was awarded the Arizona Book Award for Poetry in 2009.

In 2013, Tapahonso was named the inaugural poet laureate of the Navajo Nation. Announcing the appointment at a press conference, Elmer Guy, president of Navajo Technical College, said that the goal of designating a chief poet is “to encourage other Navajo poets, writers, film makers and artists to realize how important their work is to the continuance and growth of Navajo contemporary culture. Luci represents the best of what it is to be Diné, honoring our traditions, while at the same time forming a contemporary voice that speaks beautifully to all people.”

Tapahonso continues to teach; has served on various boards, committees, and commissions; and is a sought after speaker. She received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and a Spirit of the Eagle Leadership Award for her key role in establishing the Indigenous Studies Graduate Studies Program at the University of Kansas. The Native Writers Circle of the Americas named Tapahonso the 1999 Storyteller of the Year. She has also received a Kansas Governor’s Art Award, and Distinguished Woman awards from the National Association of Women in Education and the Girl Scout Council of America.


Video: a 2013 interview with Luci Tapahonso

Tags: , ,