NEWS RELEASE                     

For Immediate Release 



  Carmen Henan, Dean of Student Life 

505.424.2336, or 

  Eric Davis, Marketing & Communications Director

                505.424.2351, or 


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)  
Commencement Address to be Presented by  
  Noted Poet and IAIA Alumna
Layli Long Soldier

Ceremony to take place Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM 
SANTA FE, N.M. - April 8, 2018. Layli Long Soldier, BFA '09, has been selected to give the Institute of American Indian Arts' 2018 commencement address at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  The Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Dance Circle on the IAIA Campus, -- 83 Avan Nu Po Road, on the South Side of Santa Fe -- just minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue. For directions and a map of the campus click here. The public is welcome to attend.

Layli Long Soldier

Layli Long Soldier is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and a poet, writer, and artist currently teaching in Randolph College's M.F.A. program. Her book of poems WHEREAS, published by Graywolf Press in 2017, received the PEN Jean Stein Award and National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize. The book was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. Layli is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Award, and a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Culture Foundation. Her work has been featured on NPR's On Being and PBS's NewsHour.

Layli Long Soldier's poems and critical work appear in Poetry, American Poetry Review, American Reader, Kenyon Review, New York Times, American Indian Journal of Culture and Research, PEN America, The Denver Quarterly, and Brooklyn Rail, among others. In 2010 Q Ave Press published the  chapbook  Chromosomory, and in 2013 she participated in the art exhibit Pte Oyate at the  Red Cloud Indian School , along with  Roger BroerMicheal Two Bulls , and  Keith Brave Heart.

Layli is a contributing editor at Drunken Boat and the poetry editor for  Kore Press , a literary press that publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by women. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with Honors from Bard College. She lives in Santa Fe with her daughter, Chance.
For Jon Davis , Long Soldier's former poetry instructor and director of the Low Residency Master of Fine Arts program at IAIA, the nomination of WHEREAS for the 2017 National book Award was significant from a historical standpoint. "Layli is exploring history on the level of the damage hidden by and enforced by bureaucratic language," he said. "She's also looking at history from an indigenous perspective."
IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) commented  "We are extremely proud of Layli's accomplishments as a writer and scholar who is an awe-inspiring role model for our students".

T o stream the event on-line, please visit  on the morning of commencement.

Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies -- a minor in Performing Arts -- an MFA in Creative Writing -- along with certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History -- IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves 517 full time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe.  IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission -- and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.  

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About IAIA -- For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through our Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures -- and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at


The Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  To make a donation on-line, please click here -- or call toll free: 1.800.804.6423.