Tanaya Winder is a poet, writer, artist and educator who was raised on the Southern Ute reservation in Ignacio, CO. An enrolled member of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, her background includes Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Diné, and Black heritages. Tanaya writes and teaches about different expressions of love (self love, intimate love, social love, community love, and universal love).
A winner of the 2010 A Room Of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando prize in poetry, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Rumpus, and World Literature Review among others. Her poems from her manuscript “Love in a Time of Blood Quantum” were produced and performed by the Poetic Theater Productions Presents Company in NYC. Her debut poetry collection Words Like Love was published in 2015 by West End Press. Her chapbook Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless released in 2017.
Tanaya has taught writing courses at Stanford University, UC-Boulder, and the University of New Mexico. She has a BA in English from Stanford University and a MFA in creative writing from UNM. She is a co-founder of As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. She guest lectures and teaches creative writing workshops at high schools and universities internationally. She was a TEDxABQ speaker in 2013.
Tanaya is the Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Upward Bound Program, which services 103 Native American youth from 5 states, 12 high schools, and 5 reservations across the country. She continues to teach as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico. She co-founded the Sing Our Rivers Red traveling earring exhibit to raise awareness about murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. She is a 2016 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40” list of emerging American Indian leaders recipient and a 2017 First Peoples Fund Artists in Business Leadership fellows.
Finally, she created Dream Warriors Management, which currently consists of Indigenous Artists: Mic Jordan, Lyla June, Tall Paul, and Frank Waln. Tanaya manages these artists, each of whom travels to perform concerts, run workshops, teach empowerment and artistic skill sets, and speak at various engagements throughout the country. She created it to bring together different talented artists, speakers, and educators who embody the values of what it means to be a Dream Warrior.