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By Kelley Bozeman

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Momaday was once called "the dean of American Indian writers" by The New York Times.

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April 11, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – N. Scott Momaday, the only native American to win the Pulitzer Prize, will deliver the 2001 Blazer Lecture in Humanities -- entitled "Native American Oral Tradition: The Stories and Storytellers" -- at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of Kentucky. A brown bag lunch with Momaday is slated for noon April 12 in room 359 of the UK Student Center.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Momaday, once called "the dean of American Indian writers” by The New York Times, has been an important voice on the American literary landscape for more than 30 years.  He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his first published novel, "House Made of Dawn," and has received countless other awards, ranging from a Guggenheim Fellowship to the Mondello, Italy's highest literary honor.

Through the spoken word, Momaday's dedication to his people's heritage has been profoundly felt.  Born to the Kiowa tribe in the Oklahoma Dustbowl, he was raised on reservations in the Southwest, steeped in the oral tradition.  His storytelling keeps the myths and culture of his people alive for many to appreciate.

Momaday has said, "Stories are not told merely to entertain or instruct.  They are told to be believed.  Stories are realities lived and believed.  They are true."

Momaday's creative accomplishments include not only fiction but also poetry, plays, essays and paintings.  His latest books, "In the Bear's House" and "Circle of Wonder:  A Native American Christmas Story," were published in 1999.  His other books include "In the Presence of the Sun:  Stories and Poems," "The Ancient Child" and “The Way to Rainy Mountain.”

Currently Regents Professor of the Humanities at the University of Arizona, Momaday has held tenured teaching posts at the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds 12 honorary degrees from American colleges and universities, including Yale University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Wisconsin.

“We are pleased to welcome an author and oral historian of Dr. Momaday’s stature to Kentucky.  He is an exceptional continuation of the tradition of excellence established by the Blazer family over 50 years ago,” said Howard Grotch, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Blazer Lecture Series in the Humanities was endowed 53 years ago by Paul G. Blazer Sr., founder of Ashland Oil, Inc., and his wife Georgia Blazer, the first woman to serve on the UK Board of Trustees.  It was their wish that the series enlighten the thinking and challenge the assumptions of faculty, students and the community.  To assure their vision become reality, the College of Arts and Sciences has hosted more than 100 individuals as Blazer Lecturers, including an American president, several Pulitzer Prize winners, two ambassadors and dozens of distinguished scholars, authors and researchers.

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