Layli Long Soldier, Poetry


Whiting Awards 2016

Layli Long Soldier holds a B.F.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an M.F.A. from Bard College. She has served as a contributing editor of Drunken Boat. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review Online, and other publications. She is the recipient of the 2015 NACF National Artist Fellowship and a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship. Her collection of poetry, WHEREAS, will be published in 2017. Long Soldier resides in Tsaile, Arizona, where she is an English faculty member at Diné College. 


Layli Long Soldier is the poet-architect in the arena of witness and longing. Her work interrogates poetic form and the legacy of a history of brutality and extermination. Her collection, WHEREAS, continually asks questions of both the reader and the author as Long Soldier considers the way Native American identity can be expressed on the page—what language should be used, what rules should be followed? What does authenticity or authorship mean when so much of one culture has been wiped out by another? Elegant and painful, formally surprising, personal and historic, this is a fearless, polyphonic crossing of cultures and languages in the service of both tenderness and trenchant critique.

From “H^e Sapa”






Read more work from the 2016 Whiting Award winners here.