LTohe by J Morgan Edwards

Poet Laura Tohe will receive the Festival of Words Writers Award at a ceremony Saturday, March 2. Courtesy/J. Morgan Edwards

Laura Tohe, former poet laureate of the Navajo Nation, has been chosen as the recipient of the Festival of Words Writers Award, presented by the Tulsa Library Trust.

Tohe will receive the award — an engraved crystal trophy and a $5,000 honorarium — as part of the Festival of Words, a daylong celebration of Native American culture and heritage, March 2 at Connor’s Cove in the Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St.

Tohe (Diné, Tsénahabiłnii, Sleepy Rock People clan, and born for the Tódich’inii, Bitter Water clan) co-edited the anthology “Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community” and is the author of such volumes of poetry as “Code Talker Stories,” “Making Friends with Water,” “No Parole Today” and “Tseyi’: Deep in the Rock, Reflections on Canyon de Chelly.”

As a librettist, Tohe was commissioned by The Phoenix Symphony to write the libretto for “Enemy Slayer, A Navajo Oratorio,” which premiered in 2008 as part of the symphony’s 60th anniversary. Her current project is a libretto on healing, “Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World,” with performances scheduled for spring 2019 in France.

Tohe is Professor Emerita with Exemplar Distinction from Arizona State University and had faculty affiliations with American Indian Studies, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, and Honors College. She also is an Arizona Speaks presenter for the Arizona Humanities that awarded her the 2006 Dan Schilling Public Scholar award.

For more information: 918-549-7323,

James D. Watts Jr.


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Scene Writer

James writes primarily about the visual, performing and literary arts. Phone: 918-581-8478