Layli Long Soldier

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Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier 172902.jpg
  • Artist
  • Writer
NationalityOglala Lakota
Alma mater
Notable awards
Years active2010–present

Layli Long Soldier is an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, feminist, artist, and activist.

Early life and education[edit]

Long Soldier grew up in the four corners region of the Southwest, where she continues to live and work to advocate against the continued, systematic oppression of indigenous populations.[1] She graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts, and went on to earn a Master's at Bard College.[2]


In 2010 she published the chapbook Chromosomory,[3] and in 2013 participated in the art exhibit Pte Oyate at the Red Cloud Indian School, along with Roger Broer, Micheal Two Bulls and Keith Brave Heart.[4]

Long Soldier is an editor of the journal Drunken Boat, and the poetry editor for Kore Press.[3]

Her first volume of poetry, Whereas, published in 2017 by Graywolf Press[5][6] explores the systemic violence against and cultural erasure of native tribes in the United States through a thoughtful investigation of language.[7] Whereas responds to the cautiously phrased and quietly passed 2009 U.S. Congressional Apology to Native Peoples for the history of genocidal policies and actions the United States Federal government has enacted against them. In writing these poems, Long Soldier studied similar apologies from governments across the world to indigenous peoples and considered the nature of authentic apology.[8]

The volume's longest poem, the five-page "38," recounts how 38 Sioux warriors were hanged, with the approval of President Lincoln, after the 1862 Sioux Uprising, on December 26, 1862. Long Soldier writes "This was the same week that President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation."[9]

Whereas, however, mainly focuses on personal experiences, including Long Soldier's reflections on her relationship to her daughter and motherhood.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Chromosomory, Lubbock, TX : Q Ave Press, 2010. OCLC 779995409
  • Whereas, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2017, ISBN 9781555977672, OCLC 946693814


  1. ^ "Layli Long Soldier: Respecting the Sentence". Tufts Poetry Awards. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  2. ^ Levin, Jennifer (August 19, 2016). "A tradition of storytelling: The new landscape of Native literature". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Layli Long Soldier". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  4. ^ Darr, Deanna (December 12, 2013). "Exploring the buffalo bond: 'Pte Oyate' exhibit links art, culture". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Layli Long Soldier Wins 2016 Whiting Award". Graywolf Press. March 24, 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  6. ^ Diaz, Natalie (August 4, 2017). "A Native American Poet Excavates the Language of Occupation". Review of Layli Long Soldier, Whereas. New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017. Print version, August 6, 2017, under title "An Occupied Language", Sunday Book Review, p. 20.
  7. ^ "Everything Is In the Language We Use: A Review of Whereas by Layli Long Soldier". The Kenyon Review. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  8. ^ a b "Layli Long Soldier — The Freedom of Real Apologies". The On Being Project. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  9. ^ Lichtenstein, Jesse (2018-08-12). "How Poetry Came to Matter Again". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
  10. ^ Lerner, Lawrence (November 20, 2015). "Professor A. Van Jordan Wins the 2015 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry". Rutgers University. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Whiting Foundation Announces Winners of 2016 Awards for Writing". New York Times. March 23, 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  12. ^ "2017 National Book Award finalists revealed". CBS News. October 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  13. ^ Katie Tuttle (March 15, 2018). "National Book Critics Circle Announces Winners for 2017 Awards". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  14. ^ John Maher (February 21, 2018). "Long Soldier, Zhang, Le Guin Win At 2018 PEN Literary Awards". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "The 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Winners". PEN America. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.