Stacie Denetsosie

College of Humanities and Social Sciences


At the age of sixteen, I lost my grandmother to a kidney infection. As a Navajo young woman, I was taught to avoid conversational topics about death, or risk ill fortune upon me. However, prompted by my eleventh grade English teacher, I began writing about my grandmother’s passing, and the nature of death within my culture. I wrote my first serious piece of writing about my relationship with my grandmother and my culture. During my sophomore year of college, I declared my major in English with a Creative Writing emphasis and found myself engaged in writing stories about my Navajo culture. Writing became a form of ceremony for me. Utah State’s faculty and staff’s encouragement to write about what makes me different gave me the confidence to submit my work to Utah State’s Creative Writing Contest Scribendi, and on two separate occasions place first in the poetry and fiction categories. This last summer, I had the opportunity to accept a month-long Poetry Fellowship in Prague, Czech Republic. As a second-year master’s student, I have gained confidence leading classroom discussions, presenting my work at public readings, and attending workshops outside USU.