Elizabeth Woody


Elizabeth Woody, Navajo / Warm Springs / Wasco / Yakama, is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon. She is born for Tódích'íinii (Bitter Water clan) and her birthplace is Ganado, Arizona. Her mother's mother belongs to the Milee-thlama (People of the Hot Springs) and Wyampum peoples (People of the Echo of Water Upon Rocks). Her maternal grandfather's people were the middle Columbia River Chinook peoples Wishram/Wasco/Watlala. After three years of study at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, she earned a bachelor's degree in Humanities with an emphasis in English from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. From 1994-1996, Elizabeth was a professor of creative writing at the IAIA. In 1992, Elizabeth was an invited writer at the Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers and a featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Her poetry has been praised by James Welch and chosen by him for inclusion in the Spring 1994 issue of Ploughshares which he edited. (See below in writing available online.) She is a board member of Soapstone, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing a writing retreat for women. This organization is rebuilding and improving the retreat facilities for women to write in safety and solitude near the Oregon coast. Applications are available for residencies at their website.

Elizabeth has worked in various programs teaching workshops, mentoring, as a consultant and and lectures throughout the country. She has worked with the Telluride Native Writer's Forum, reading, panels, and workshops for Northwest Wordcraft Circle, Neah Bay, WA and Newport, OR; Southwest Native American High School Students, Telluride, CO; Young Writer's Conference and Performance, readings, illustration, poetry and short story workshops for Northwest Native American high school writers at Paschal Sherman Indian School, Omak, Washington; Grey Hills Academy Diné Fine Arts and Drama Festival, Tuba City, AZ; and Flight of the Mind Writing Workshops for Women, McKenzie Bridge, OR, to name a few.

As an artist, Ms. Woody has exhibited regionally and nationally. Recently she participated in the Pacific Rim Gathering that culminated in a touring exhibition in Hité'emlkiliiksix "Within the Circle of the Rim": Nations Gathering on Common Ground. You may see her contribution in the catalogue of the same name. She has shown in Submuloc Wohs/Columbus Show and For the Seventh Generation: Native American Artists Counter the Quincentenary, Columbus, New York. Both exhibitions toured. In Oregon, Woody served on the Northwest Native American Arts Services Task Force, sponsored by the Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council and was one of the founding members of the Northwest Native American Writers Association. She was selected to be an apprentice in the Oregon Folk Arts Master-Apprenticeship, to learn Traditional Basket Weaving from Margaret Jim-Pennah. Woody has also served as a juror for their program for two years, and has served on multi-disciplinary art fellowship jury panels for several arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Elizabeth Woody is presently on the Board of Directors of Soapstone, a Women Writer's Retreat, and was recently asked to join the Editorial Advisory Board of the Oregon Encyclopedia for the Oregon Council for the Humanities, Advisory Board for Lewis & Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling Indigenous Ways of Knowing Project (see: http://www.lclark.edu/org/orcenter/iwokconference.html), Willamette University Advisory Council for Native Programs located in Salem, Oregon, and serves as a leadership circle advisor for the Ford Foundation's feasibility study on a national Native American arts and culture fund. During 2005-2006 Woody was part of the steering committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians proposed NW Indian Policy Center. She also advises The Evergreen State College Native Arts Council who recently held a Native American Arts Fair at the Washington History Museum.

At this time, Elizabeth is taking a break from a full-time student schedule in the Master of Public Administration Program (emphasis in two separate areas combined, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resources Management) at the Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University. She works as Director of the Indigenous Leadership Program at the non-profit environmental organization, Ecotrust of Portland, OR or The Buffett Award for Indigenous Leadership in Conservation Guidelines 2001-2003.

Other relevant programs are:
Concepts in Action: Return of Elakha, and
Western Indigenous Artists Network prototype, a work inprogress.

My Humanness is an Embellished Tongue Also see Liz's lithograph, "My Humanness is an Embellished Tongue, which was auctioned on May 15, 2004 at the Wy·Kan·Ush·Pum Gala in Portland, OR. This lithograph is now available from Liz. See image on the right.

Also available is a spoken word CD, Conversion: root, stone, flesh and water, with Liz reading recent, mostly unpublished poems. This CD will be released at the 89th Ecological Society of America conference in Portland in Aug. 2004 in a limited quantity at this time. Copies may be obtained for $15.00 + 3.00 shipping and handling by contacting Elizabeth Woody.

Elizabeth Woody on Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color

Elizabeth Woody's Art Exhibitions

Elizabeth Woody's Conference Presentation, Workshops & Journal Publications

A short biography from the Internet Public Library's Native American Author's Project.

Writing available online

Translation of Blood Quantum
Recalling Celilo, (adapted from Salmon Nation)
Girlfriends in Ploughshares
Perfidy in Ploughshares
Straight and Clear in Ploughshares
Invisible Dress read by Liz (Sound file)
The Warm Springs River read by Liz (Sound file)
The English and the Daughter of a Wasco-Sahaptin Woman Spoken in Absence of Her Mother's True Language
read by Liz (Sound file)


Elizabeth received an American Book Award in 1990 for her book Hand into Stone from the Before Columbus Foundation. This book has been republished, including new prose and poetry, as Seven Hands Seven Hearts. In 1993 Elizabeth received a "Medicine Pathways for the Future" Fellowship/Kellogg Fellowship from the American Indian Ambassadors Program of the Americans for Indian Opportunity. She is a recipient of the William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry from the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association and was a finalist in the Oregon Book Awards in poetry in 1995. She held a Brandywine Visiting Artist Fellowship in 1986, and in 1997 she was awarded a J.T. Stewart Award and Fellowship by Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers on Whidby Island, WA. In May of 1997, she participated in a residency sponsored by Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, CA.

Books by Elizabeth Woody or containing her work       icon


Luminaries of the Humble, (Sun Tracks, Vol 30), Univ of Arizona Press.
Review by Kent Chadwick in the Washington Free Press
Review by Judy Elsley in Weber Studies
Seven Hands Seven Hearts, Eighth Mountain Press.
Hand into Stone : Poems, Contact II Publications.
Reviewed by Joy Harjo in Calyx, 12, no. 3 (1990): 95-97
Reviewed in Mid-American Review, XI, 1, Fall 1990.
Old Shirts & New Skins Elizabeth did the illustrations for this book of Sherman Alexie poems.

Anthologies Containing Elizabeth's Work       icon

Renewing Salmon Nation's Food Traditions, Gary Paul Nabhan (Editor), Ecotrust, Portland, OR. 2006.
River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia, William D. Layman (editor), Washington Univ. Pr.
A Song to the Creator: Traditional Arts of Native American Women of the Plateau,
Lillian A. Ackerman (Editor), Univ. Oklahoma Press.
Oregon Salmon: Essay on the State of the Fish at the Turn of the Millennium.
Essay, Oregon Trout, Portland, OR, 2001 (Publisher's page)
Salmon Nation, Edward C. Wolf and Seth Zuckerman, Ecotrust. Portland, OR. 1999.
Review of Salmon Nation on the American Rivers website.
When the Rain Sings : Poems by Young Native Americans,
Lee Francis (Editor), Simon & Schuster.
Dreaming the Dawn : Conversations With Native Artists and Activists, E. K. Caldwell, University of Nebraska Press.
Forward by and interview with Elizabeth.
First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific, Judith Roche and Meg McHutchison (Editors)
University of Washington Press.
Speaking for the Generations : Native Writers on Writing (Sun Tracks Books)
University of Arizona Press. (Hardcover)
Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals,
Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger, Brenda Peterson (Editors), Ballantine & Random House
Earth, Wind, and Fire: Harry Fonseca, Jonathan Batkin (Editor),
s Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe.
Native American Art in the Twentieth Century: Makers, Meanings, Histories ,
Jackson Rushing (Editor), Routledge LTD.
The Writer's Journal: 40 Contemporary Authors and Their Journals
Sheila Bender (Editor), Delta.
Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writing of North America
(Edited by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird), W.W. Norton. (Hardcover)
Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry, John E. Smelcer, D. L. Birchfield
(Editors), Salmon Run Pub.
A Gathering of Spirit: A Collection by North American Indian Women, Beth Brant (Editor), Firebrand Books.
Home Places: Contemporary Native American Writing from Sun Tracks (Sun Tracks, Vol 31)
by Larry Evers (Editor), Ofelia Zepeda (Editor), Univ of Arizona Press.
Dancing on the Rim of the World : An Anthology of Contemporary
Northwest Native American Writing (Sun Tracks, Vol 19), by Andrea Lerner (Editor), Univ of Arizona Press. (Hardcover)
Returning the Gift: Poetry and Prose from the First North American Native Writers' Festival
(Sun Tracks Books, No 29) University of Arizona Press.
The World begins Here: Oregon Short Fiction, (Oregon Literature Series, Vol 1),
Glen A. Love (Editor), Oregon State Univ Press.
Varieties of Hope : An Anthology of Oregon Prose, (Oregon Literature Series, Vol 3),
Gordon B. Dodds (Editor), Oregon State Univ Press.
From Here We Speak : An Anthology of Oregon Poetry (Oregon Literature Series ; V. 4),
Ingrid Wendt, Primus St. John (Editors), Oregon State Univ Press.
The Stories We Tell : An Anthology of Oregon Folk Literature (Oregon Literature Series Vol. 5),
Suzi Jones, Jarold Ramsey (Editors), Oregon State Univ Press.
A Circle of Nations : Voices and Visions of American Indians, John Gattuso (Editor),
Beyond Words Publishing Co.
We, the human beings : 27 contemporary native American artists, Wooster Art Museum.
Talking Leaves : Contemporary Native American Short Stories
by Craig Lesley, Katheryn Stavrakis (Editor) Dell Books
The Clouds Threw This Light, Phillip Foss (Editor), Institute of American Indian Arts Press.
Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back : An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
by Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press

Published Interviews with & Essays on Elizabeth's Work       icon

The Nature of Native American Poetry, Norma C. Wilson, Univ. New Mexico Press.
Here First, Brian Swann, Arnold Krupat (Editors), Random House.
Contrary Iconography, Jackson Rushing, New Art Examiner, Summer 1994.
The Earth is Richer for this Voice, Interview by Kim Caldwell in Raven's Chronicles, Winter 93-94.


Salmon: Why Bother?, from Sea Grant
Faithful to Continuance, from Mimbres Fever Productions.

Biographical Information

Notable Native Americans, Sharon Malinowski & George H.J. Abrams (Editors), Gale Research.
The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters, Patrick D. Lester, Univ of Oklahoma Press.
St. James Guide to Native North American Artists, Roger Matuz (Editor), Gale Research.
Contemporary Authors : A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television,
Volume 135, Susan M. Trosky (Editor), Gale Research.

Work published in Translation

Les Cahiers- de poesie recontre, 25 special, La poesie Amerindienne
May 1989, Manuel Van Theinen (Editor), France.
Elenco Racconti Raccolta Scrittrici Indianoamericane
Laura Coltelli, Dr. Cinzia Biagotti (Editors), Giunti Gruppo Editoriale, Publisher, Firenze, Italy.

In Association with Amazon.com

This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboratio.

© 2003 Elizabeth Woody and Karen Strom.

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