The Navajo Nation’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Shares Words and Wisdom

“AT MOST POETRY READINGS, the audience maintains a solemn silence between poems, digesting the writer’s words. But when Luci Tapahonso read her work at the Radcliffe Institute this past spring, the crowd enthusiastically clapped after each poem.

To introduce the poet, Kristiana Kahakauwila—the 2015–2016 Lisa Goldberg Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute and an assistant professor of creative writing at Western Washington University—explained Tapahonso’s effect on people. She said she had discovered Tapahonso while researching communal storytelling. “The act of reading—usually done individually, silently—felt with Luci’s work to be communal and raucous, as if the entire household of relatives were there speaking, and I was in the hogan with them,” Kahakauwila said.”

To read the article, please visit: Luci Tapahonso uses her inimitable storytelling to connect with students, fellows, and the public


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