American Indian poets take the stage at SOMOS Summer Writers Series
By Dory Hulburt
White declined to define “poempathy,” a term with which he signs off some of his email. That puts the word in public domain, open to interpretation. Is it the reader’s empathy for the contents of the poet’s head which have tumbled out on the page? Or a gesture of grace by the poet—an unspoken vow to communicate and not prestidigitate?
The couple lives in Tsaile, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation with their 5-year-old daughter, Chance. Long Soldier’s mother is from northern Idaho and her father is Lakota, from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, but she grew up mostly in the Southwest. When she was 11, her mother got a job with the Navajo tribe and they moved to the Four Corners area.
Below: Diné (Navajo) poet Orlando White.