Tanaya Winder


Poet, writer, and educator Tanaya Winder is an enrolled member of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe and has ancestors from the Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Navajo, and Black tribes. She grew up on the Southern Ute reservation in Ignacio, Colorado, and earned her BA at Stanford and an MFA from the University of New Mexico. Winder’s collections of poetry include Words Like Love (2015) and Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless (2017). Poetic Theater Productions performed a suite of Winder’s poems as Love in a Time of Blood Quantum, and she won an Orlando Prize in poetry from the A Room of Her Own Foundation. Source 


Wake up, greet the sun, and pray.

Burn cedar, sweet grass, sage—

sacred herbs to honor the lives we’ve been given,

for we have been gifted these ways since the beginning of time.

Remember, when you step into the arena of your life,

think about those who stand beside you, next to, and with you.

Your ancestors are always in your corner, along with your people.

When we enter this world we are born hungry,

our spirits long for us to live out our traditions

that have been passed down for generations.

Prayer, ceremony, dance, language—our ways of being.

Never forget you were put on this earth for a reason—

honor your ancestors.

Be a good relative.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Intersectionality & Culture

Memory & The Past

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified)


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic