Enemy Slayer teaches the first horse laws to Lipans

Margo Tamez

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photo of Margo Tamez

Margo Tamez (she/they/her) is a Dene Ndé [Athapaskan; Lipan Apache] poet and herstorian. She was born in the settler city of Austin, Texas, situated on traditional and unceded Kónítsaįįgokíyąą (Ndé Dene homeland). Through poetry, Tamez addresses settler mytho-history, embedded Indigeneity, and Texas settler place-making as a process of ongoing colonization via erasures and distortion of diverse Indigenous and Black peoples’ continuous resistance vis-à-vis arts of protest and community empowerment. Her poetry confronts genocide denialism as an “unholstered gun” (“My father’s father, Premont, 1938”) that weaponizes and normalizes anti-Indigenous, anti-Black and anti-Mexican racism as a celebratory settler system and entitlement across Texas. She draws directly from family history, oral tradition and archives to write radically different understandings of her Dene, Comanche, Nahua, and Jumano ancestors and relatives who have survived Texas and Texas and U.S. dispossessions. Her recently published third collection, FATHER | GENOCIDE, (Turtle Point Press, August 2021) is described as “bracing” “necessary, urgent, and affecting work”, (Publishers Weekly, August 2021). She is currently a faculty member in the Indigenous Studies and the MFA Poetry programs at the University of British Columbia (Kelowna, BC, Canada), in unceded, ancestral Syilx territory.

"A necessary, urgent, and affecting work."
Publishers Weekly

"Tamez's poetry disturbs the mind with its bravery of language, musical indictments of culture, and profound good heart. She is one of our great lyric poets. This book is simply wonderful!"
—Norman Dubie, author of Quotations of Bone

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