Grantee: Laura Da’
Native Citizenship: Eastern Shawnee/Seneca/Miami
Location: Newcastle, Wash.
Award: 2015 National Artist Fellowship
Web Site: www.laurada.com
Da’s own diverse background greatly impacts and influences her style, which is a mix of writings forms. She blends styles and genres in poetry for a rich complexity and conveyance of time, travel, history and place. Poets who use hybrid forms like lyricism mixed with narrative poetry intrigue her.
Laura Da’ was born in the Pacific Northwest region. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma and of Seneca and Miami heritage. All these mixes and dichotomies lend depth to her compelling poetry.
Da’ studied creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts, the University of Washington, and Seattle University. As a poet and public school teacher, she balanced teaching with pursuing her artistic passion in her spare time. After a decade of this balancing act, her first chapbook, The Tecumseh Motel, was published in Effigies II in 2014, and her first book length manuscript, Tributaries, was published in 2015.
Da’s work is a type of articulated re-mapping and radical adaption to blended forms and voice. Her poetic quip is pervasive, formulating new descriptions as an opening up of new ways to verse. Da entices the reader with the confident blend of writing that she forms. She enjoys writing from history, and finding different perspectives, whether from text or through oral knowledge. One can journey in her poetry through various rifts of time and place, discovering the ‘radical adaption’ in her writing that fascinates readers.
The 2015 National Artist Fellowship monetary award provides additional support for Da’ to complete and market a book length manuscript of poetry, allow her to share her work at conferences, and allow her to present her work in her own tribal community.
To walk a parallel path through life as a citizen of many nations . . . [and] discover a route that allows to maintain curiosity, dignity, and identity. For me, this has been poetry
~ Laura Da’