Ofelia Zepeda

"Language is an element of our humanity that has many components, many mysteries, anomalies, and gifts. O'odham, like many other tribal people, hold up language as one of the most significant gifts given to humans when they were first created.”

Watch video of Dr. Zepeda's January 26, 2011, reading.

Ofelia Zepeda is the author of three books of poetry: Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995); Jewed I’hoi/Earth Movements (1997); and Where Clouds Are Formed (2008).



She has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and named Poet Laureate of Tucson, Arizona.  In December 2010, she was invited by the Friends of the Pima County
Public Library to deliver the 2010 Lawrence Clark Powell Lecture.  Recently, she completed a Public Art project, inscribing her bi-lingual poems on large boulders along Mountain Avenue, north of the University of Arizona campus.


Ofelia Zepeda is currently a Regents Professor and the Director of the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.


May 11, 2011