Luci Tapahonso

Luci Tapahonso is professor of English Literature and Language at the University of New Mexico. In 2013, she was named the inaugural poet laureate of the Navajo Nation. She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry including A Radiant Curve, which was awarded the Arizona Book Award for Poetry in 2009. Tapahonso 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. She is recipient of other awards including the Native Writers Circle of the Americas named Tapahonso the 1999 “Storyteller of the Year,” the 1998 Kansas Governor’s Art Award, and Distinguished Woman awards from the National Association of Women in Education and the Girl Scout Council of America. She was honored as Grand Marshal for the Northern Navajo Fair Parade (1991,1999) in her hometown of Shiprock, New Mexico. Tapahonso’s work has appeared in many print and media productions in the US and internationally. Her poems have been translated into German, Italian, and French. She was featured in Rhino Records’ CDs, In Their Own Voices: A Century of American Poetry and Poetry on Record: 98 American Poets Read Their Work and in the PBS films: A Thousand Voices, The Desert is No Lady, Art of the Wild, and Woven by the Grandmothers: An Exhibition of 19th Century Navajo Textiles, and American Passages: The Works of Leslie Marmon Silko, Luci Tapahonso and Simon J. Ortiz.


A World Carved from Words: The First Navajo Poet Laureate