J. Todd Hawkins

Description of Art: J. Todd Hawkins writes compelling, award-winning poetry spanning a variety of forms and subjects. He draws from his cultural heritage of Choctaw storytelling to craft narrative, persona, and historical poems as well as introspective and confessional pieces. He often uses forms such as sonnets, haiku/senryu, haibun, centos, and ghazals to provide unique perspectives in his work. Many of his poems explore Native American history, including the Choctaw experience in both Oklahoma and Mississippi.

"Whether writing about Pecos Bill, a Jerry Bywaters masterpiece, graffiti, hurricanes, mustangs, Ghost Dancers, Blind Willie Johnson, or poignant reminiscences of childhood on a family ranch/farm, Hawkins demonstrates time and time again, his mastery of skilled poetic craft." —Larry D. Thomas, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

"Hawkins ... has an admirable affinity for finding the small, little-known stories of our history, several of the nineteenth-century Southwest, to save in poems. Here is the way history should be written about, should be saved." —Dave Parsons, 2011 Texas Poet Laureate

"Few experiences in contemporary poetry match the thrill of encountering J. Todd Hawkins’ precise and haunting verse." —Elle Aviv Newton, coeditor and cofounder of Poets Reading the News

Artist Biography: J. Todd Hawkins is widely published and award-winning Choctaw author, poet, visual artist, speaker, educator, and literary critic. His poems have been published in literary journals and anthologies around the world. He is the author of the chapbooks, "Ten Counties Away" and "What Happens When We Leave," which won the 2018 William D. Barney Memorial Chapbook Award. Hawkins has been featured in Biskinik and in the YouTube series, "Chahta Stories".  He has been a featured speaker and panelist throughout the nation, including in his home state of Texas, at the New Orleans Poetry Festival, at the Oklahoma State University Graduate Humanities Conference, and at the University of Mississippi's Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference.