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St. John’s College Appoints N. Scott Momaday as Artist-in-Residence

Posted by St. John's College on April 22, 2014

(SANTA FE, NM) St. John’s College announced today the appointment of Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday as artist-in-residence. During his two-year residency, Mr. Momaday will offer a public reading and conduct study groups—in-depth discussions about texts and visual art—with faculty, staff, and students.

“We are extremely honored to have Scott Momaday as artist-in-residence at St. John’s College. We are especially pleased that our students will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from one of the most distinguished writers, poets and artists of our time,” says St. John’s College president, Mike Peters.

About N. Scott Momaday

Of Kiowa-Cherokee heritage, N. Scott Momaday has long been respected for his varied oeuvre, which both celebrates and preserves Native American oral tradition and art. His first novel, House Made of Dawn—which tells the story of a young Native American returning home from a foreign war and caught between two worlds—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. His play, The Indolent Boys, was given a world premiere on the Syracuse Stage in the 1993–1994 season.  In the mid 1970s, Momaday took up drawing and painting. His art has been exhibited widely in the United States, and his drawings and etchings illustrate his newer books.

Raised first on the Kiowa Indian Reservation in Oklahoma and then in Arizona, where he was exposed to the Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo Indian cultures of the Southwest, 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, earning 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. Awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2007 by President George W. Bush. N. Scott Momaday received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010.