Dr. Franci Washburn, Lakota, spoke March 2, 2011 as part of the University of Arizona's Poetics & Politics 2011 series. She is an associate professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. In the video she discusses storytelling, noting that she believes in the power of storytelling to change, create and destroy worlds. "Words have power beyond imagining," she says.
According to the University of Arizona, Washburn holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English, Creative Writing, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. She has written poetry, short fiction and novels, and has published articles in Indigenous Nations Studies Journal, American Indian Quarterly, and Studies in American Indian Literature. Her first novel, Elsie's Business—about a young woman who is beaten, raped and left for dead on the Standing Rock Reservation—was released from the University of Nebraska Press in the fall of 2006.