The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Luci Tapahonso

NEA Big Read Partner 2021

About Luci Tapahonso

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. 

She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry including A Radiant Curve. She recently served as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, the New Mexico High School Poetry Competition and was selected as “2016 Best of the City- Our City and State’s Prolific Authors,” by Albuquerque the Magazine. Professor Tapahonso has delivered keynote addresses at several conferences and institutions including Harvard University, Gallup Central High School, Kenyon College, Institute of American Indian Arts, the Tbisili International Literature Festival in the Republic of Georgia and “Creativity Week” at the University of New Zealand at Auckland and Wellington.

She recently completed a script for an exhibition called “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art” for the American Heritage Gallery at Walt Disney World’s Epcot and is completing the manuscript for her next book.

Luci Tapahonso lives in Santa Fe with her husband, Dr. Robert Martin, who is president of the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Find Events with Luci Tapahonso

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

Date: Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 6:30pm
Location: Zoom
Type & Genre: Celebration, Community Event, Talk; American Indian, Community, Indigenous, Mixed Genre
Kick off the NEA Big Read with a conversation on Diné womanhood and the power of storytelling featuring Navajo Nation Poets Laureate Luci Tapahonso and Laura Tohe.

About NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This event is presented as part 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. 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, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Humanities Division at ASU. Find events, meet our partners, and start reading today at

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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