516 WORDS: Layli Long Soldier, Luci Tapahonso, Edie Tsong & Elizabeth Jacobson

Friday, November 6, 2020 6pm – 7pm

​Advance registration required for this online event.


The public is invited to an online 516 WORDS literary reading in conjunction with the exhibition Feminisms, curated by Andrea R. Hanley (Navajo) and presented in partnership with the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (on view at 516 ARTS through January 2, 2021). The event features New Mexico women writers across various cultures, emceed by Elizabeth Jacobson, poet laureate of Santa Fe.

Luci Tapahonso
(Navajo) is Professor Emerita of English Literature (University of New Mexico 2016) and served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation. She is also the recipient of a 2018 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Artist Fellowship. She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry including A Radiant Curve. She recently completed a script for an exhibition titled Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art for the American Heritage Gallery at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota) earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with honors from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017), which won the National Books Critics Circle award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. She was awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2016.

Edie Tsong (Taiwanese-American), whose work is featured in the Feminisms exhibition at 516 ARTS, is an artist and writer. Her interdisciplinary projects often explore the functionality and form of language and its relationship to identity. She is the founding director of Snow Poems project, collaborative temporary installations of original poetry on windows. She is also the author of Scattered Memory, a letter and silkscreen printed limited edition artist book published by Women Studio Workshop.

516 WORDS is an ongoing literary arts series started in 2007 by poet Lisa Gill. Each reading is inspired by the theme of the exhibition on view at 516 ARTS and features three to five poets who are invited to participate. Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director of 516 ARTS, says, “The subjects of our exhibitions are all about what feels relevant in the here and now, and the 516 WORDS series reflects that in an interdisciplinary way.”