Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) presents a Poetry Reading by Rex Lee Jim, a prominent poet, public figure, and tribal member of the Navajo Nation. The literary work of Rex Lee Jim has made a distinct contribution to the linguistic, literary and cultural environment in the United States and the world by poetically using Navajo language in his books: saad (in Navajo), published by Princeton University Library (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Collections of Western Americana, 1995); Dúchas Táá Kóó Diné (in Navajo, Gaelic and English in Ireland, 1998); and, Áhí Ni’ Nikisheegiizh, also published by Princeton University Library (in Navajo; Princeton Collections of Western Americana, 1989). His poetry in Navajo and English pushes both languages, and in so pushing taps into the rich poetic traditions of both Navajo and English, expanding both traditions. His is a poetry that takes aesthetics as a way to provoke ongoing contemplation and reflection about the world in which we live and what we might make of it.
Poet Rex Lee Jim is also a Blessingway Singer, and an educator that taught Diné Educational Philosophy in Navajo schools and colleges for many years. He has worked with indigenous youth on health issues, mostly with high school students. He also is a member of the advisory board of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network.
As a Native American writer and political figure, Rex Lee Jim has been an international advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples. He has been a Navajo Council Delegate and Former Vice President of the Navajo Nation between January 2011 and May 2015. He represented the Navajo Nation at the United Nations and contributed in drafting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007. He earned his BA in English from Princeton University in 1986.
This important event is organized by Professor Anthony Webster, from the Department of Anthropology and a member of the NAIS Advisory Council.
The UT Poetry Center is housed in the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT Austin, located on 101 East 21st St., Austin, TX. 78713. For more information, go to: https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/collections/ut-poetry-center