Speedway and Swan Episode 37: Layli Long Soldier

Speedway and Swan with special guest Layli Long Soldier


Recorded on All Souls day, this episode with special guest Layli Long Soldier features a selection of Native American poetry and more. You’ll hear a classic poem from Joy Harjo and a poem from Ofelia Zepeda’s 2015 reading at the University of Arizona, courtesy of VOCA: the audio-video library maintained by the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Of course, there will be recently published as well as yet to be published works. You’ll hear poems that sear and poems that drip, poems in the Diné and O’odhom languages, poems for the dead and poems as testament to the beautiful endurance of the living.


Featuring musical selections by Akron Family, Six Organs of Admittance, the Alabama Shakes, Ben Howard and others.



Joy Harjo | “She Had Some Horses,” She Had Some Horses. W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

dg nanouk okpik|“A Cigarette Among the Dead,” Corpse Whale. University of Arizona Press, 2012.


Jorie Graham|“Mask,” Fast. Ecco, 2017.


Sherwin Bitsui | “untitled first poem,” Flood Song. Copper Canyon Press, 2016.


Ofelia Zepeda| "Neñe'i Ha-sa:gid / In the Midst of Songs" public reading, The University of Arizona Poetry Center, March 12, 2015.


Santee Frazier | “Coin Laundry” and “Ornament,” Dark Thirty. University of Arizona Press, 2009.


Lynn Melnick | “Losing the Narrative” Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.


Tayna Lukin Linklater| “A Girl” previously unpublished.


Simon Ortiz|an excerpt from  from Sandcreek University of Arizona Press, 2000.



Layli Long Soldier received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. She is the author of WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017), which was short-listed for this year’s 2017 National Book Award. Long Soldier has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and a Whiting Writers’ Award. A citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


SPEEDWAY & SWAN is a monthly, one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections.  Culling from the exceptional libraries of her partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, host Susan Briante is joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brings to the hour a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. 

Most episodes also feature a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963. SPEEDWAY & SWAN represents a partnership between the Poetry Center, which archives the show in listenable format with an annotated playlist, and KXCI, where the show streams live.   

Since 1983, KXCI 91.3 FM has been committed to connecting Tucson and Southern Arizona to one another and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming.

Susan Briante’s most recent book The Market Wonders (Ahsahta Press) was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. The Kenyon Review calls it “masterful at every turn.” She is also the author of the poetry collections Pioneers in the Study of Motion and Utopia Minus (an Academy of American Poets Notable Book of 2011), both from Ahsahta Press. Briante has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund and the US-Mexico Fund for Culture. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Arizona.