Navajo poet Luci Tapahonso has published five books of poetry and three children's books over the past 20 years.
She was born and raised in Shiprock, N.M., and her poetry draws on her experiences as a Native American woman, and a woman of the West. She taught English and American Indian Studies at the University of Kansas for nine years before moving to Tucson, Az., in 1999, where she teaches at the University of Arizona. In addition to her teaching, she is active as a Native leader and advocate.
Tapahonso has served on the board of trustees for the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, on the board of directors of the American Indian Law Resource Center and on literature panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Her efforts to establish the Indigenous Nations Studies Masters Degree Program at the University of Kansas earned her the 2002 American Indian Leadership Award.
The Shiprock Fair, held annually in Shiprock, N.M., is the oldest fair in the Navajo Nation, and embodies the spirit of the Navajo people--thier love of fun and excitement, their heartfelt commitment to family, and their talent and creativity. The Shiprock Fair harmonizes their sense of enjoyment with their deep spirituality.
Seen through the eyes of Nezbah, a young girl, the Shiprock Fair is a magical time with family and friends. Luci Tapahonso's poetry captures the anticipation and exhilaration of Nezbah's experience and Anthony Chee Emerson's illustrations bring the color and excitement of the fair to life.
In this cycle of poetry and stories, Navajo writer Luci Tapahonso shares memories of her home in Shiprock, N.M., and of the places and people there. Through these celebrations of birth, partings, and reunions, this gifted writer displays both her love of the Navajo world and her resonant use of language.