A member of the Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) Nation, Ofelia Zepeda grew up in Stanfield, Arizona. She earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Arizona. Zepeda’s poetry touches on linguistics, O’odham traditions, the natural world, and the experience of contemporary O’odham life. Her work is influenced by traditional Papago themes and songs. Zepeda has been a professor of linguistics and director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona, as well as director of the American Indian Language Development Institute. She edits Sun Tracks, a book series devoted to publishing work by Native American artists and writers, at the University of Arizona Press.
More By This Poet
Smoke in Our Hair
The scent of burning wood holds
the strongest memory.
Mesquite, cedar, piñon, juniper,
all are distinct.
Mesquite is dry desert air and mild winter.
Cedar and piñon are colder places.
Winter air in our hair is pulled away,
and scent of smoke settles in its place.