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Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Keynote Speaker 2017
Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo Nation poet, writer, storyteller, singer sometimes, author of Going for the Rain, A Good Journey, Woven Stone, Out There Somewhere, from Sand Creek, The People Shall Continue, The Good Rainbow Road, and other books. He has been writing for the past 40 plus years. His voice is the voice of Indigenous American land, culture, and community. Currently a Regents Professor of English and American Indian Studies at Arizona State University as an Indigenous American poet and writer, he is internationally acclaimed and six of his poetry and fiction books have been translated into Italian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and German. Ortiz has also been a tribal leader of his Acoma Pueblo community as a translator-interpreter and 1st Lt. Governor as well as the Chairperson of the Haaku Museum and Cultural Center Board of Trustees, and he is outspoken as a necessary advocate and proponent of Indigenous liberation and decolonization. Prof. Ortiz is also the father of 3 children, and the grandfather and great-grandfather of ten beautiful grandchildren. Over the years, he has been honored and awarded the following: Golden Tibetan Antelope Prize for International Poetry, Qinghai, China, 2013; National Endowment for the Art, 1970, 1980; Lifetime Achievement Award from Returning the Gift-Native North American Writers, April 199; l Lannan Foundation, Artist in Residence Award, Summer 2000; Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writers Award, 1996-1998; New Mexico Humanities Award, 1985.