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N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
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N. Scott Momaday
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Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Native American scholar, and poet N. Scott Momaday has been hailed as “the dean of American Indian writers” by The New York Times. He crafts — in language and imagery — majestic landscapes of a sacred culture.

Named a UNESCO Artist for Peace and Oklahoma’s poet laureate, he was also a recipient of the 2007 National Medal of Arts for “introducing millions worldwide to the essence of Native American culture.” Momaday was the first Native American to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, House Made of Dawn. His most recent volume, Again the Far Morning: New and Selected Poems, was released in 2011.

His other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the “Mondello,” Italy’s highest literary honor. His works include The Way to Rainy Mountain, The Names: A Memoir, The Ancient Child, and a new collection, Three Plays, which celebrates Kiowa history and culture. He was featured in the Ken Burns documentary The West, which showcased his masterful retelling of Kiowa history and mythology.

Momaday is the founder of The Buffalo Trust, dedicated to the preservation of Native American culture and heritage. He has held tenured teaching posts at UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of Arizona and received an honorary Doctor of Human Letters from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Behind his printed work beats the heart of the oral storyteller, keeping alive — in myths and memories — the peoples persecuted and the land lost. “In the oral tradition,” says Momaday, “stories are not told merely to entertain or instruct. They are told to be believed. Stories are realities lived and believed. They are true.”

Dr. Momaday recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Presented by actor Robert Redford, the award was accompanied by a screening of Return to Rainy Mountain, a documentary by his daughter, filmmaker Jill Momaday, that recounts his life, career, and the cultural history of the Kiowa people. Additionally, PBS is producing an American Masters profile on Momaday due out in 2018.

Full Bio >
  • Return to Rainy Mountain is a "Living Story" on N. Scott Momaday (2015)
  • Momaday on Imagination and Language (2014)
  • Momaday at The Cry of the Earth conference at the United Nations (2013)
  • N. Scott Momaday: A Man Made of Words
  • When Dogs Could Talk: A Story (2014)
  • A Different Set of Principals: Indigenous Learnings (2014)
  • N. Scott Momaday at the Heard Museum (2012)
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Speaking Topics
Native Wisdom: Principles for Living
Encountering the Sacred: Heritage, Healing and the Land
Native American Oral Tradition: The Stories & Storytellers
The Language of Creativity: Writing, Painting, and Imagination
An Evening with N. Scott Momaday
The Crisis of Identity Facing Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples
Books & Other Works
  • Again the Far Morning: New and Selected Poems
  • House Made of Dawn
  • Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations
  • Three Plays: The Indolent Boys, Children of the Sun, the Moon in Two Windows (Oklahoma Stories &...
  • The Way to Rainy Mountain
  • Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages
  • In the Bear's House
  • The Names: A Memoir
  • In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961-1991
  • The Ancient Child
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“It was a stunning evening. Scott Momaday stole the show. I had people coming up to me saying that he was the best speaker they had ever heard.”
Agua Caliente Museum
“Every word counts, they say. And hosting N. Scott Momaday was a blissful evening of words, stories, and perspectives, nuanced in beauty, insight, and humor which could only be delivered so intimately by our distinguished guest. Long after that rainy night ended, our big audience – students, scholars, townsfolk, aspiring writers and local tribal members - will never forget our time together when you could hear a pin drop with this gentle and amazing man. I’m sure we will all hope to hold on to our memories of that night with Dr. Momaday. ”
University of Puget Sound
“Dr. Momaday's presence on campus and in our community was greeted with such deep appreciation and interest it was stunning. Every single seat in our lecture hall was filled; students opted to sit on the floor just to listen to his voice. Scott Momaday is a treasure, not only to the Native American community, but to the American community and to our world community as a powerful voice of where we have been and where we are going. Stunning.”
Arizona State University
“We enjoyed a very special day with Dr. Momaday. The highlight for me was listening as our students had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Momaday and learn more about his approach to writing. It was truly a special day.”
The Pingry School
“Scott was a huge success and we were so happy to have him at CATE. Most teachers left the hall with their hands over their hearts and said that listening to him was a spiritual experience. He is a national treasure and we were graced by his presence.”
California Teachers of English
“We were thrilled to have such a literary icon on our campus, and Dr. Momaday was as warm and gracious as he was inspiring. He was fantastic.”
University of Arkansas
“The lecture Dr. Momaday gave was absolutely fabulous. We have gotten some really great feedback from our donors and it was just a wonderful evening.”
Peninsula Open Space Trust
“The event was fantastic! The entire University community has had nothing but wonderful things to say.”
University of Oregon
“Everything went great! It was a pleasure to have him there and he was a great asset to the conference! We had record attendance at the overall Forum, and particularly during the luncheon when he spoke.”
Alaska Forum on the Environment, Inc.
“N. Scott Momaday is an extraordinary presence at any event. His words, his voice and his very being are an ongoing inspiration to all of us who have had the opportunity to experience his extraordinary talent first hand.”
Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers
“Scott Momaday is an extraordinary story teller. His combination of sensitivity, intelligence and humor was masterful, holding our audience's attention throughout.”
Field Museum of Natural History
“Dr. Momaday was delightful. He made everyone he met feel welcome and he connected well with the students.”
University of Wisconsin, Madison
“We loved having Scott here. He is a powerful presence. In spite of a pretty bad cold, he delivered a remarkable public talk on Saturday afternoon. He is the consummate storyteller; the audience was spellbound for more than an hour. We were deeply honored to have Scott join us and he added so much to the weekend.”
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
“Scott Momaday is descended from shield makers and medicine men. His paintings reflect the primitive power of the old, native world of the Plains. He shows us how that world lives on in our own time, how it has meaning for us.”
R.C. Gorman, Painter
“Thank you for the most wonderful lecture to have been at St. John's since my arrival a year ago. We are still receiving praise about your superb reading. Your willingness to do interviews resulted in excellent publicity and a full house. It was a pleasure to work with you and an honor to meet you.”
St. John's College
“Scott Momaday was superb, diverse, interesting and very inspirational.”
Ascension Health
“Men rarely express the greatness of who they are. There are those who give us courage, strength and beauty so that we may sing throughout our lives. One of these very special persons--a man who knows the song of life, who tells it in his work--is N. Scott Momaday.”
Charles Loloma, Artist
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