Layli Long Soldier
Published April 9, 2018
SANTA FE – Layli Long Soldier is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and a poet, writer, and artist currently teaching in Randolph College’s M.F.A. program. Her book of poems WHEREAS, published by Graywolf Press in 2017, received the PEN Jean Stein Award and National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize. The book was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. Layli is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Award, and a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Culture Foundation. Her work has been featured on NPR’s On Being and PBS’s NewsHour.
Layli Long Soldier’s poems and critical work appear in Poetry, American Poetry Review, American Reader, Kenyon Review, New York Times, American Indian Journal of Culture and Research, PEN America, The Denver Quarterly, and Brooklyn Rail, among others. In 2010 Q Ave Press published the chapbook Chromosomory, and in 2013 she participated in the art exhibit Pte Oyate at the Red Cloud Indian School, along with Roger Broer, Micheal Two Bulls, and Keith Brave Heart.
Layli is a contributing editor at Drunken Boat and the poetry editor for Kore Press, a literary press that publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by women. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with Honors from Bard College. She lives in Santa Fe with her daughter, Chance.
For Jon Davis, Long Soldier’s former poetry instructor and director of the Low Residency Master of Fine Arts program at IAIA, the nomination of WHEREAS for the 2017 National book Award was significant from a historical standpoint. “Layli is exploring history on the level of the damage hidden by and enforced by bureaucratic language,” he said. “She’s also looking at history from an indigenous perspective.”
IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) commented “We are extremely proud of Layli’s accomplishments as a writer and scholar who is an awe-inspiring role model for our students”.