About the Event
Autry and Navajo multimedia documentarian Pamela J. Peters introduced two evenings featuring remarkable Navajo poets whose beautiful words integrate Diné history, language and culture. This Zoom event showcased the talents of Sherwin Bitsui and Tacey M. Atsitty on July 16, and concludde with readings from Jake Skeets and Rowie Shebala on July 23.
Navajos have all been deeply impacted, either directly or indirectly through our kinship ties, by COVID-19. Most news reporting reveals the tragic impact of COVID-19 on the Navajo reservation, yet we rarely hear from the people directly impacted. These readings offers an opportunity to hear from Navajo people who have been affected by the virus. Their distinctive poetry illustrates the perseverance of the People, the strong connections individuals have to their homeland, and the language and traditional life of the Diné.
This Zoom event not only showcase four Navajo poets, but also provided an opportunity to donate to the Utah Navajo COVID-19 Relief Program. This program was created under the Utah Navajo Health system to provide food and supplies to elders. Program coordinator Sahar Khadjenoury described the organization’s efforts, provides information on making donations, and explains how each donation helps the surrounding tribal communities.
Works for purchase: https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/books/dissolve-by-sherwin-bitsui/
Atsitty is the director of the Navajo Film Festival, poetry judge for the Eggtooth Editions Chapbook Contest, a member of Advisory Council for BYU’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, a member of the Advisory Board for Lightscatter Press and the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dance Competition at This is the Place Heritage Park. She is currently a PhD student at Florida State University. Visit unmpress.com to view works available for purchase.
palabrasbookstore.com and brightsidebookshop.com to see works available for purchase.
amazon.com for works available for purchase.
The Utah Navajo COVID-19 Relief Program was created under the Utah Navajo Health System to provide food and supplies to elders, COVID positive households, families in need, and the autoimmuno-compromised. UNCRP covers all of Utah Navajo from Montezuma Creek to Navajo Mountain in efforts to reduce the trips to border towns and flatten the curve. To donate, visit unhsinc.org and utahnavajorelief.com.