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

I Am Different

I do not fear being alone anymore, any more than I fear the "I" in a poem. "I" still do not understand myself completely, and if viewed from the corner of the eye, that's thrilling. "I" am in a lifelong mystery within my own ownership. Yet no one, not even "I" will witness its unfolding entirely. I've heard that the first words uttered as a sentence were, I am different. Is that true                       ? And if it is, it must be true when the thinker says, in language there are only differences. This sacred gap. A recognition. Our distance from one another is ground for my "I" and yours for "you." I'm aware / thus I know / I am different when I ask: can you love the "I" in the poem as much as you love the poem.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica


Literary Devices:


written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure


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

Varied Punctuation

diverse use of punctuation.