‘A voice and a platform’: A Diné teen’s powerful poems are getting noticed

‘A voice and a platform’:  A Diné teen’s powerful poems are getting noticed

CHINLE

Some urban Natives say they don’t fit in anywhere. Kinsale Hueston has the opposite problem.

“So many places feel like home to me,” she said in an interview from Washington, D.C., where she is working for Sen. Kamala Harris on Indian affairs.

There’s the glittering world of Los Angeles, the tide pools of her hometown in Orange County, the slickrock canyons of Navajo Mountain, and, since completing her freshman year at Yale, the shady sidewalks of New Haven. The challenge is to integrate all the different parts of this 19-year-old life — Diné, bilagáana, urban, suburban, rural, artist, student, aspiring lawyer, activist — so that nothing gets left behind.

For Hueston, poetry is the perfect tool to draw it all together.

“I was the only Native at my high school,” recalled Hueston, a daughter of Mabelle Drake (of the Navajo Mountain Drakes) and John Hueston. “I didn’t feel like I had a voice. Poetry was a way for me to find my own space.”

After she started publishing her poems online, however, she found it was a space a lot of people wanted to be in. Things are happening fast for Kinsale Hueston.


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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.