Elizabeth Woody is an artist, poet, author, educator, and community leader born in Ganado, Arizona. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, of Yakama Nation Wasco descent, and “born for” the Tódích’íinii (Bitter Water clan) of the Navajo Nation. Woody earned a Master of Public Administration degree through the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government’s Executive Leadership Institute of Portland State University, a BA in Humanities from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington; and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Through her many mediums, Woody challenges us to value the natural world, her people, and her family. She is a storyteller with an understanding of the importance of truth-telling. Woody is the recipient of numerous awards including an American Book Award for her book Hand into Stone, a Medicine Pathways for the Future Fellowship/Kellogg Fellowship from the American Indian Ambassadors Program of the Americans for Indian Opportunity, the William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry, and was a finalist in the Oregon Book Awards in poetry for Luminaries of the Humble. In March 2016, she was the first Native American to be named poet laureate of Oregon by Governor Kate Brown.
She also held a Brandywine Visiting Artist Fellowship, was awarded a J.T. Stewart Award and Fellowship by Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, Washington; and she participated in a residency sponsored by Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, California.