Layli Long Soldier


Layli Long Soldier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with honors from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017), which won the National Books Critics Circle award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. She was awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2016. Long Soldier is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Source

Obligations 2

        As we


                                           embrace          resist


                          the future       the present      the past


            we work          we struggle          we begin          we fail

to understand       to find        to unbraid        to accept        to question


              the grief          the grief           the grief          the grief


                          we shift         we wield           we bury​


                                     into light               as ash


                                               across our faces





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Death & Loss

Faith & Hope

Poetic Form

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


words or phrases repeated one after another in quick succession


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times

Visual Poetry

Poetry written on the page with intentional form to add meaning to the poem.