Esther Belin in Conversation with Manny Loley
This week, Esther Belin speaks with Manny Loley, a Diné poet and storyteller who writes in both the Navajo and English languages. Belin and Loley talk about stories as medicine, the unique poetics of the Navajo language and the meanings and musicality that don’t translate into English, and the importance and industriousness of queer people in Diné creation stories and in the Navajo Nation today. Loley also shares why his most important readers and listeners are his grandma, his mom, and the land.
Loley is ‘Áshįįhi born for Tó Baazhní’ázhí; his maternal grandparents are the Tódích’íi’nii, and his paternal grandparents are the Kinyaa’áanii. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English and Literary Arts at the University of Denver, and he serves as the director of the Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute. You can read two of Loley’s poems in Navajo and English in the July/August 2022 issue of Poetry, in print and online.