Sunday, January 18, 2009
Luci Tapahonso, Navajo poet and native New Mexican
I heard about Luci Tapahonso long before I moved to New Mexico.
She is a native New Mexican, born in Shiprock, NM in 1953, attended school in Farmington, NM and attended the University of New Mexico. But I heard about her when she was a professor of English at the University of Kansas, which I attended at the same time she was on faculty there.
I became interested in her life and her accomplishments, and especially her poetry. Her writing is usually based on her childhood, life and culture as a member of the Navajo Nation. She is recognized as an authority in the Navajo cultures.
She is such a well-rounded person, with a long resume in education, poetry writing, giving speeches and writing magazine articles, but more interesting to me, in promoting the Native American culture.
Right now I am re-reading Saánii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing: Poems and Stories, a collection of poetry about her childhood and her life as a Navajo woman.
She is one of my New Mexico heroes, right at the top of my list. If I ever have a chance to hear her speak, I will not miss the opportunity.
(bio and picture from NativeWiki.org)