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Join us for an evening celebrating indigenous poetry from the United States and Mexico with three major poets—Natalie Diaz (member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, winner of the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, language activist and educator), Layli Long Soldier (an Oglala Lakota poet, writer, and artist whose debut poetry collection WHEREAS is short-listed for the National Book Award), and Natalia Toledo (a Mexican poet and translator who writes in Spanish and Zapotec and won the Nezhualcóyotl Prize, Mexico’s highest honor for indigenous-language literature). Each poet will read from their distinctive work that moves across many languages and lands, exploring what it means to be an indigenous woman writer in today’s world. This special program will also feature a performance by Cahuilla Bird singing master Michael Mirelez and company, who are part of a long, inter-generational tradition of culture bearers within the local California Indian community.

Bilingual program Spanish/English with simultaneous interpretation by Antena Los Ángeles

Join us for a post-program reception in the Library’s courtyard! 

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellow and a 2012 Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. In 2014, she was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency MFA program and lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining Mojave speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.


Layli Long Soldier

Layli Long Soldier is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She has served as a contributing editor of Drunken Boat. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader and The Kenyon Review Online. She is the recipient of the 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship, a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship and a 2016 Whiting Award. Her newest collection of poems, “WHEREAS” was published by Graywolf Press this spring. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Natalia Toledo

Natalia Toledo has written four books of poetry and two of prose, all bilingual (Zapotec/Spanish). She has read her poetry in Latin America and the United States as well as Europe and Asia. Her work as a jewelry and clothing designer and chef reiterates the lively imagery of her poetry.


Main Image: The Las Labradas Archaeological Zone in Sinaloa, Mexico (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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