Poem Sampler

Native American Poetry and Culture

A selection of poets, poems, and articles exploring the Native American experience.
By The Editors
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)



Sherman Alexie, Spokane/Coeur d’Alene

Crisosto Apache, Mescalero, Chiricahua Apache, Diné (Navajo) 

Shonto Begay, Navajo

Esther Belin, Diné (Navajo)

Sherwin Bitsui, Diné (Navajo)

Kimberly Blaeser, White Earth Chippewa and Anishinaabe

Beth Brant, Mohawk

Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Mescalero and Lipan Apache

Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki

Diane Burns, Chemehuevi and Anishinaabe

Barney Bush, Shawnee/Cayuga

Gladys Cardiff, Eastern Band of Cherokee

Lorna Dee Cervantes, Chumash

Chrystos, Menominee

Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Tlingit

Natalie Diaz, Mojave

Qwo-Li Driskill, Cherokee

Carolyn Dunn, Muskogee, Cherokee, Seminole

Anita Endrezze, Yaqui

Heid E. Erdrich, Ojibwe (Turtle Mountain)

Louise Erdrich, Chippewa

Jennifer Elise Foerster, Muscogee Creek

Jack D. Forbes, Powhatan-Renápe, Delaware-Lenápe

Santee Frazier, Cherokee

Diane Glancy, Cherokee

Rain C. Goméz, Louisiana Choctaw, Creek

Garry Gottfriedson, Secwepemc First Nation

Janice Gould, Koyoonk’auwi (Concow)

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Metis and Huron

Joan Kane, Inupiaq

Joy Harjo, Muskogee Creek

Gordon Henry, White Earth Chippewa

Roberta Hill, Wisconsin Oneida

Stuart Youngman “Sy” Hoawah, Comanche

Linda Hogan, Chickasaw

LeAnne Howe, Choctaw

Hershman John, Navajo

Emily Pauline Johnson, Mohawk

Sara Littlecrow-Russell, Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) and Han-Naxi Métis

Chip Livingston, Poarch Creek

Layli Long Soldier, Oglala Lakota

Adrian C. Louis, Lovelock Paiute

Denise Low, Lenape (Delaware) and Cherokee

Tiffany Midge, Standing Rock Sioux and Hunkpapa Lakota

Deborah A. Miranda, Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen

N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa

Phillip Carroll Morgan, Choctaw/Chickasaw

Nora Naranjo-Morse, Tewa, Santa Clara Pueblo

Paula Nelson, Cherokee

Duane Niatum, S’Klallam

William Oandasan, Yuki

dg okpik, Inupiaq-Inuit

Sara Marie Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo

Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo

Elise Paschen, Osage 

Craig Santos Perez, Chamoru

Parsino Carlos Peynetsa, Zuni and Isleta Pueblo

Lois Red Elk, Ft. Peck Sioux

Marcie R. Rendon, White Earth Anishinaabe

Carter Revard, Osage

Cathy Tagnak Rexford, Inupiaq

Wendy Rose, Hopi and Miwok

Ralph Salisbury, Cherokee

Cheryl Savageau, Abenaki

Cedar Sigo, Suquamish

Leslie Marmon Silko, Laguna Pueblo

M.L. Smoker, Sioux and Assiniboine

James Thomas Stevens, Akwesasne Mohawk

Margo Tamez, Lipan Apache and Jumano Apache

Luci Tapahonso, Diné (Navajo)

Laura Tohe, Diné (Navajo)

Gail Tremblay, Onondaga/Mi’Kmaq

John Trudell, Santee Dakota

Mark Turcotte, Chippewa

Gerald Vizenor, Anishinaabe and Chippewa

Marnie Walsh, Dakota 

Orlando White, Diné (Navajo)

Tanaya Winder, Duckwater Shoshone

Karenne Wood, Monacan Indian Nation

Elizabeth Woody, Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs

Ray A. Young Bear, Meskwaki

Ofelia Zepeda, Tohone O’odham (formerly Papago) Nation




Recent explorations of Native American experience in prose and conversation.

A comprehensive bibliography of Native American poetry publications, compiled by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Sweeping Hearts: Writing poems inspired by Native American music and poetry.

Beyond Language: Joy Harjo on writing her life in poetry.

‘Indians in T-shirts’: The Institute of American Indian Arts, now in its 50th year, encourages its students to upend conventional expectations of Native American culture

Three Native American Poets”, a Poetry Lectures podcast featuring Sherwin Bitsui, Allison Adele Hedge Coke, and Linda Hogan

Joy Harjo 101: Sampling the work of this luminary poet and songwriter.

The Students of Marianne Moore: Reading the ugly history of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where the poet taught.

Craig Santos Perez's posts on Harriet: the blog


Originally Published: March 21st, 2013
  1. October 23, 2013
     Dr. Dorene Wiese

    I am sure,the Chicago American Indian community would love to co-host an event at the foundation for Native American Month.

  2. November 1, 2013
     Timothy Dorsey

    Among many others:

    Jennifer Foerster
    Joan Naviyuk Kane
    dg nanouk okpik
    Orlando White

  3. December 26, 2013

    I really appreciate this list, thank you! Could someone please fix the links? :)

  4. March 5, 2014
     allison adelle hedge coke

    I think Jennifer and Orlando are on here, but dg okpik and Joan Kane
    are definitely needing to be included still.

  5. October 10, 2014
     Melissa J. Rickey

    You must include Lucy Tapahonso, Navajo --Sa'anii Dahataat-The Women
    Are Singing (1993) and her newer ones and James Welch, Blackfoot and
    Gros Ventre and Irish-- Riding the Earth boy -40- ( 1971) !