Award-winning poet Layli Long Soldier participated in a reading and book signing last month at South City Campus.
Soldier read to a full audience in the multipurpose room Feb. 22. She is an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, artist, as well as a contributing editor of the journal “Drunken Boat.”
Brenda Sieczkowski, an adjunct English professor who teaches imaginative writing at SLCC, was one of the many attendees who were excited to listen to Soldier.
“I was thrilled that SLCC got Layli Long Soldier to come and read since I think she’s one of the contemporary poets who’s doing the most exciting work, with poetry that’s both political, but also innovative and artistic in the way that she writes her material,” Sieczkowski says.
Soldier discussed the injustices, deaths, and discrimination the Native American tribes have faced both past and present. Her most famous work, “Whereas,” confronts the United States government’s apologies to Native American peoples and tribes.
The apology, written when President Barack Obama was in office, was never spoken publicly nor directed to any Native American tribes. She discussed that this apology sparked her research and fully inspired her words.
Soldier graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and further earned her Master’s at Bard College. Some of her accomplishments include a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and a PEN Jean Stein Book Award.
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