N. Scott Momaday
|Born||Navarre Scott Momaday|
February 27, 1934
|Alma mater||University of New Mexico (B.A.)|
Stanford University (Ph.D.)
|Literary movement||Native American Renaissance|
|Notable works||House Made of Dawn (1968)|
Navarre Scott Momaday (born February 27, 1934) is a Kiowa novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His novel House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969, and is considered the first major work of the Native American Renaissance. His follow-up work The Way to Rainy Mountain blended folklore with memoir. Momaday received the National Medal of Arts in 2007 for his work's celebration and preservation of indigenous oral and art tradition. He holds twenty honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
On February 27, 1934, Navarre Scott Momaday was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He was delivered in the Kiowa and Comanche Indian Hospital, registered as having seven-eighths Indian blood. N. Scott Momaday's mother was Mayme 'Natachee' Scott Momaday (1913–1996), who claimed to be of partial Cherokee descent, born in Fairview, Kentucky, while his father was Alfred Morris Momaday, who was a full-blooded Kiowa. His mother was a writer and his father a painter. In 1935, when N. Scott Momaday was one year old, his family moved to Arizona, where both his father and mother became teachers on the reservation. Growing up in Arizona allowed Momaday to experience not only his father’s Kiowa traditions but also those of other southwest Native Americans including the Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo traditions. In 1946, a twelve-year-old Momaday moved to Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, living there with his parents until his senior year of high school. After high school, Momaday attended the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He continued his education at Stanford University where, in 1963, he was awarded a Ph.D. in English Literature.
House Made of Dawn was the first novel of the Native American Renaissance, a term coined by literary critic Kenneth Lincoln in the Native American Renaissance. The work remains a classic of Native American literature.
As other indigenous American writers began to gain notoriety, Momaday turned to poetry, releasing a small collection called Angle of Geese. Writing for The Southern Review, John Finlay described it as Momaday's best work, and that it should "earn him a permanent place in our literature." The poems in Angle of Geese were later included in an expanded collection, The Gourd Dancer (1976), which also included passages excised from The Way to Rainy Mountain. Most of Momaday's subsequent work has blended poetry and prose.
In 2007, Momaday returned to live in Oklahoma for the first time since his childhood. Though initially for his wife's cancer treatment, Momaday's relocation coincided with the state's centennial, and Governor Brad Henry appointed him as the sixteenth Oklahoma Poet Laureate, succeeding Nimrod International Journal editor Francine Leffler Ringold. Momaday held the position for two years.
Momaday is tenured at Stanford University, the University of Arizona, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of California-Santa Barbara. Momaday has been a visiting professor at places such as Columbia and Princeton, while also being the first professor to teach American Literature in Moscow, Russia at Moscow State University.
In 1963, Momaday began teaching at the University of California-Santa Barbara as an assistant professor of English. From 1966-1967, he focused primarily on literary research, leading him to pursue the Guggenheim Fellowship at Harvard University. Two years later, in 1969, Momaday was named Professor of English at the University of California-Berkeley. Momaday taught creative writing, and produced a new curriculum based on American Indian literature and mythology.
During the 35-plus years of Momaday’s academic career, he built up a reputation specializing in American Indian oral traditions and sacred concepts of the culture itself. The many years of schooling and teaching are evidence of Momaday’s academic success, resulting in 12 honorary degrees from several American universities.
He was a Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico during the 2014-15 academic year to teach in the Creative Writing and American Literary Studies Programs in the Department of English. Specializing in poetry and the Native oral tradition, he taught The Native American Oral Tradition.
In 1969, Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "House Made of Dawn" (Pulitzer.org).
Momaday was featured in the Ken Burns and Stephen Ives documentary, The West (1996), for his masterful retelling of Kiowa history and legend. He was also featured in PBS documentaries concerning boarding schools, Billy the Kid, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Momaday received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois at Chicago on May 9, 2010.
In 2018, Momaday won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, the only juried prize to honor the best books addressing racism and questions of equity and diversity. The same year, Momaday became one of the inductees in the first induction ceremony held by the National Native American Hall of Fame.
In 2019 Momaday received the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. 
Momaday is the founder of the Rainy Mountain Foundation and Buffalo Trust, a nonprofit organization working to preserve Native American cultures. Momaday, a known watercolor painter, designed and illustrated the book, In the Bear's House.
Momaday's mother was born in 1913 in Fairview, Kentucky, and her given name was Mayme Natachee Scott ...