GALLUP, N.M. – Navajo poet Jake Skeets has been named one of the winners of this year’s Whiting Award.
The Gallup Independent reports the Giles Whiting Foundation recently announced Skeets as one of the 10 writers to receive the honor.
Last year, he was named the winner of the 2018 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, one of the most honored literary prizes in America.
Skeets says he writes from personal experiences and focuses on Native American issues and challenges.
“I write a lot of poetry, and poetry isn’t always a best-seller, but this is really affirming,” said the Vanderwagen, New Mexico, writer. “I hope to continue to write about things that I have experienced growing up near Gallup.”
Skeets holds a master of fine arts in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts and teaches English at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.
In his book, “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers,” Skeets focuses on stereotypical depictions of Gallup through his mind’s eye.