Tanaya Winder to Perform Spoken Word Poetry

posted February 5, 2016 

Native poet and artist Tanaya Winder will perform her spoken word poetry at a free performance Wednesday evening March 2, 2016, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Cuny Commons at Red Cloud Indian School. 

As part of The Heritage Center’s Visiting Poet Series, Winder will meet with high school students on the Pine Ridge Reservation to encourage and support their aspirations for creative self-expression in a series of youth-focused workshops. “When I get to teach poetry and work with Native youth on honing their craft I feel hope, I feel joy. I try my best to show that poetry is within each of us and every person is a poet," she says from her home in Ignacio, Colorado. “We each have a story within us and that story is worth telling. The stories we hold within us deserve space in the world.”

Winder is an award-winning, published poet and the second to participate in The Center’s Series. As an enrolled member of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe with Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Navajo and Black heritage, her experience and engagement with Native youth is particularly influential. “It’s important for our students to interact with strong, empowered individuals with diverse backgrounds themselves—it’s really something our youth connect to,” says Audrey Jacobs, museum educator at The Heritage Center. “And their experience with storytelling resonates loudly with our students who come from a storytelling background themselves.”

In September, students took part in workshops and performances alongside the Tony award-winning, Palestinian-American poet and activist Suheir Hammad. This March the program will expand, opening the experience to the greater community in providing further workshops for high school students and a free poetry performance for guests of all ages. “Our students really connected with Suheir,” notes Jacobs, as she wraps up planning for the event. “I have no doubt they will feel the same with Tanaya.” 

The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School invites the community to a free poetry performance as part of the Visiting Poet Series. For information regarding the Visiting Poet Series and educational programming at The Heritage Center visit www.redcloudschool.org/heritage/edu.


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