Tucson Festival of Books

Simon Ortiz


Sponsored by Friend of the Festival

Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo) is a poet, fiction writer, essayist and storyteller and a retired Regents Professor of English and American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. Ortiz is the author of "Out There Somewhere," "Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories," "After and Before the Lightning," "Woven Stone" and "From Sand Creek." He is also the editor of "Beyond the Reach of Time and Change: Native American Reflections on the Frank A. Rinehart Photograph Collection" and "Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing," as well as the author of the children’s book, "The Good Rainbow Road." In 1982, Ortiz won a Pushcart Prize for "From Sand Creek." He is also the recipient of the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, the New Mexico Humanities Council Humanitarian Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Discovery Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and he was an Honored Poet at the 1981 White House Salute to Poetry. In 1993, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers (the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers) and the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.

Awards: Pushcart Prize

Communities: Indigenous or Native American


Scheduled events:
Intersections of Verse y Voz
Discover the work of these poets with Southwestern roots who explore the intersection of language, identity, and place in their writing.

Nuestras Raíces Stage (Seats 150)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Multigenre
Signing area: Pima County Public Library/Nuestras Raíces/Craft Tent & Signing Area (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Mari Herreras, Simon Ortiz, Brandon Som
Moderator: Melo Dominguez
Simon J. Ortiz
Light As Light Light As Light is acclaimed poet Simon J. Ortiz’s first collection in twenty years. The poems in this volume celebrate the wonders and joy of love in the present while also looking back with both humorous and serious reflections on youth and the stories, scenes, people, and places that shape a person’s life. Light As Light brims with giddy, wistful long-distance love poems that offer a dialogue between the speaker and his beloved. Written in Ortiz’s signature conversational style, this volume claims poetry for everyday life as the poems find the speaker on a morning run, burnt out from academic responsibilities, missing his beloved, reflecting on sobriety, walking the dog, and pondering the act of poem making. The collection also includes prayer poems written for the speaker’s son; poems that retell traditional Acoma stories and history; and poems that engage environmental, political, and social justice issues—making for a well-rounded collection that blends the playful and the profound. The poems in Light As Light travel far across both space and memory, landing everywhere from the New Mexico of the speaker’s childhood, to California, Tucson, and present-day Beijing, and many airports, highways, and way stations in between. The central concern uniting this collection is language itself: the weight and significance of English and Keres, as well as the nature and power of poetry as a way of life. No collection of Indigenous literature is complete without the work of Simon Ortiz, and this book is a powerful journey through the poet’s life—both a love letter to the future, and a sentimental, authentic celebration of the past.

The University of Arizona Press, Booth #242 (Seats 1)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Southwest Books of the Year

Author: Simon Ortiz
A Celebration of Southwest Poetry
Today we will celebrating the top works of poetry as judged by the Southwest Books of the Year Award. These four accomplished poets will share the inspiration for their work that is deeply rooted in the Southwest.

Student Union Kiva (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Poetry
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA Bookstore, Main Floor (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Tommy Archuleta, Mari Herreras, Simon Ortiz, Brandon Som
Moderator: Gregory McNamee
Iconic Southwest Poets in Conversation
Iconic Indigenous poets Simon J. Ortiz and Ofelia Zepeda discuss their poetic journeys.

Student Union Kiva (Seats 100)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Poetry
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA Bookstore, Main Floor (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelist: Simon Ortiz
Moderator: Ofelia Zepeda

Books:
Light as Light
Poems
Poetry
University of Arizona Press
December 2023
ISBN 9780816550241
168 pages
Buy now

Out There Somewhere
Poetry
University of Arizona Press
January 2002
ISBN 9780816522101
158 pages