Native American Poetry and Culture

A selection of poets, poems, and articles exploring the Native American experience.
Blue and gold mixed media art.

Joy Harjo writes, “The literature of the aboriginal people of North America defines America. It is not exotic. The concerns are particular, yet often universal.” The poets and poems gathered here showcase both the universal and the particular approaches Native American authors have taken to writing about diverse, indigenous cultures. 

Poetry Foundation editors have curated this collection of Native American poets, both established and widely read ones along with voices of a new generation, from some of the many US tribes. Their poems bear historical witness, demonstrate the strength of the Native American spirit, argue crucial political and social issues, while illuminating a vibrant cultural heritage. This collection is intended to be inclusive, in order to introduce new readers to a broad range of poets. Please contact us if you wish to make suggestions for additions to this sampler, or if you are listed here and wish to be removed. 

The editors would like to thank Allison Adelle Hedge Coke for her help in compiling our selection and for sending us the Native American poetry bibliographies (1993-2015) that she helped to compile with the AWP Indigenous/Aboriginal American Caucus administration. We also wish to thank those readers who write in to help us improve this feature. (Last updated January 2018)



Recent explorations of Native American experience in prose and conversation.