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Home / NEA Big Read Phoenix / Feb 27: Kick Off with Luci Tapahonso and Laura Tohe

Evening Song: A Conversation with Luci Tapahonso and Laura Tohe (NEA Big Read Phoenix 2021)

NEA Big Read Kick Off: Evening Song with Luci Tapahonso, Laura Tohe, Amanda R. Tachine, Jake Skeets, Arizona Humanities

Date(s): Saturday, February 27, 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Phoenix MST
Celebration, Community Event, Talk
Genre and Form(s): American Indian, Community, Indigenous, Mixed Genre
Cost: Free

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

About this Event

Celebrate the official kick-off of the NEA Big Read: Phoenix with Evening Song: A Conversation with Luci Tapahonso and Dr. Laura Tohe on Saturday, February 27, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Phoenix MST on Zoom.

In this conversation, Navajo Nation Poets Laureate Luci Tapahonso and Dr. Laura Tohe will explore Diné womanhood, the power of storytelling, and how Indigenous narratives can guide the way toward reconciliation, healing, and Native Nation-building.

The conversation will be moderated by ASU Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Amanda R. Tachine with additional comments by poet Jake Skeets. This event is presented in partnership with Arizona Humanities, will be livestreamed and recorded, and is open to the public and free. 

Looking for more events? Join a salon on decolonization with Dr. Amanda R. Tachine on March 4, learn more about Arizona's MMIWG Study Committee on March 19, or view the full schedule for the NEA Big Read today at

About the Author

Luci Tapahonso is Professor Emerita of English Literature (University of New Mexico 2016) and served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation. She is a recipient of a 2018 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Artist Fellowship. 

Photograph of Laura Tohe

Laura Tohe is Diné and the current Navajo Nation Poet Laureate. She published 3 books of poetry, an anthology of Native womens’ writing and an oral history on the Navajo Code Talkers. Her librettos, Enemy Slayer, A Navajo Oratorio (2008) and Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World (2019), premiered in Arizona and France. Among her awards are the 2020 Academy of American Poetry Fellowship and the 2019 American Indian Festival of Writers Award. She is Professor Emerita with Distinction from ASU.

Dr. Amanda R. Tachine is Navajo from Ganado, Arizona. She is Náneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Zuni Red Running into Water clan) born for Tl’izilani (Many Goats clan). She is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership & Innovation at Arizona State University whose research is focused on Indigenous Knowledge Systems & the interplay of sociopolitical conditions impacting the lives of Native peoples .

Jake Skeets is the author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, winner of the National Poetry Series. He is the recipient of a 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize, a Mellon Projecting All Voices Fellowship, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Award. He is from the Navajo Nation and teaches at Diné College.

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Arizona Humanities is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our mission is to build a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

About the NEA Big Read: Phoenix

This event is presented as part of the NEA Big Read: Phoenix, celebrating Indigenous literary arts and culture in the Valley with over 25 talks, workshops, performances, book clubs, art exhibits other virtual events inspired by The Round House by Louise Erdrich. The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read: Phoenix is presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University with additional support from Arizona Humanities, Phoenix Public Library, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Humanities Division at ASU, and over 40 authors, performers, and community organizations. Find events, meet our partners, and start reading today at

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Support Indigenous Communities

The Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest American Indian non-profit organization of its kind in the United States, providing workforce development, cultural enrichment, and other vital services to Indigenous communities throughout the Valley for over 70 years. To support their work, visit their website at, click the donate button, enter an amount, and enter "NEA Big Read" in the description. Please consider making a gift to the Phoenix Indian Center today.

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