This program was conducted in both Spanish and English.
Join us for an evening celebrating indigenous poetry from the United States and Mexico with three major poets—Natalie Diaz (member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, winner of the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, language activist and educator), Layli Long Soldier (an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, and artist whose debut poetry collection WHEREAS is short-listed for the National Book Award), and Natalia Toledo (a Mexican poet and translator who writes in Spanish and Zapotec and won the Nezhualcóyotl Prize, Mexico’s highest honor for indigenous-language literature). Each poet will read from their distinctive work that moves across many languages and lands, exploring what it means to be an indigenous woman writer in today’s world. This special program will also feature a performance by Cahuilla Bird singing master Michael Mirelez and company, who are part of a long, inter-generational tradition of culture bearers within the local California Indian community.
Simultaneous interpretation was provided by Antena Los Ángeles.
This program was produced as part of The Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellow and a 2012 Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. In 2014, she was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency MFA program and lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining Mojave speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.
Layli Long Soldier is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She has served as a contributing editor of Drunken Boat. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader and The Kenyon Review Online. She is the recipient of the 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship, a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship and a 2016 Whiting Award. Her newest collection of poems, WHEREAS was published by Graywolf Press this spring. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Natalia Toledo has written four books of poetry and two of prose, all bilingual (Zapotec/Spanish). She has read her poetry in Latin America and the United States as well as Europe and Asia. Her work as a jewelry and clothing designer and chef reiterates the lively imagery of her poetry.