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“A Benign Self-Portrait,” presented by N. Scott Momaday

Posted by Chris Gruber on July 14, 2014

Click picture to watch this reading

"A Benign Self-Portrait," by N. Scott Momaday


“A Benign Self-Portrait,” presented by N. Scott Momaday, artist-in-residence

at St. John’s College, Santa Fe

On July 2nd, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist N. Scott Momaday read from his poetry and selected autobiographical passages.

Of Kiowa-Cherokee heritage, Momaday has long been respected for his varied oeuvre, which celebrates and preserves Native American oral tradition and art. His first novel, House Made of Dawn, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.  Since then he has published more than a dozen works, including novels, children’s stories, poetry, essays, and a memoir.

Raised first on the Kiowa Indian Reservation in Oklahoma and then in Arizona, Momaday developed an abiding interest in literature, especially poetry. After graduating from the University of New Mexico, he won a poetry fellowship to Stanford University’s creative writing program, where he earned a doctorate in English literature in 1963. He subsequently taught at the University of California-Santa Barbara and then at U.C.-Berkeley, where he was professor of English and comparative literature and also designed a graduate program of Indian studies. Professor Momaday also taught for years at the University of Arizona. Momaday received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2007. He was the Oklahoma Centennial State Poet Laureate from July 2007 to January 2009 and has been artist-in-residence at St. John’s College since February 2014.

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