Image of Laura Tohe

Poet, writer, and librettist Laura Tohe grew up near the Chuska Mountains on the eastern border of the Diné/Navajo homeland in New Mexico. She earned her BA from the University of New Mexico and her MA and PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Her work has been published in the journals Ploughshares, New Letters, Red Ink, World Literature Today, and many others. 

The Moving Company in Omaha, Nebraska translated her chapbook of poetry, Making Friends with Water, into modern dance and music. Tohe wrote the commissioned libretto for Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio for the Phoenix Symphony's world premiere in February 2008 and is a soundtrack recording on the Naxos classical music label. Her book No Parole Today (1999) was named Poetry Book of the Year by the Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers. Tseyi, Deep in the Rock (2005),a collaboration of poetry and photography by Stephen Strom, received the Arizona Book Association's Glyph Award for Best Poetry and Best Book. Tohe also coedited Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community (2002) with Heid E. Erdrich. Her other awards include the Dan Schilling Public Scholar Award by the Arizona Humanities.

Tohe’s most recent publication is Code Talker Stories (2012), an oral history of the Navajo Code Talkers. She teaches at Arizona State University and currently lives in Mesa, Arizona. In August 2015, she was named the Navajo Nation's second poet laureate.

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