Amy Krout-Horn

Amy-with-red

Amy Krout-Horn, Oieihake Win (Last Word Woman) has resided in two worlds; the world of the sighted and the world of the blind. She has been a writer in both of them. Raised in a small northwest Iowa farm community, she was, at age six, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Early on, she discovered the wonderful escape books provide, and in their pages, found refuge from the discomforts of her chronic illness. Over the course of her youth, Krout-Horn’s love of literature proliferated into a passion for writing. At age eleven, recognizing a lack of stories that featured young people like her, she authored a book for diabetic children, which the Iowa affiliate of the American Diabetes Association produced and distributed. In her teens, she exercised her journalistic talents as a columnist and won an Iowa regional young fiction writer’s award.

The second leg of Krout-Horn’s journey began in 1991, while attending the University of Iowa. Within a six month period, diabetic retinopathy attacked her eyesight, eventually leaving her totally blind. After graduating from BLIND Inc., a Minneapolis based adult rehabilitation training center which students affectionately refer to as “Boot Camp for the Blind,” she returned to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies and psychology from the University of Minnesota. While enrolled, she became proficient in Dakota, an indigenous language with less than a hundred fluent speakers world-wide, and worked as the American Indian studies department’s first blind teaching assistant. It was during this time that her Dakota mentor gave her the traditional name, Oieihake Win, (Last Word Woman).

A staunch advocate for social and environmental justice, she writes and lectures on native history and culture, diabetes and disability, and humanity’s connection and commitment to the natural world. Krout-Horn spent time in Washington DC as a political lobbyist for the disabled and has been a presenter at several seminars, lectures, and classroom workshops on blindness, writing, and cultural sensitivity. She has worked as a guest professorial assistant in the creative writing program at St. Petersburg College and, during the 2007 spring semester, helped create the curriculum for a Native American literature class at the University of South Florida, where she also served as a native language and culture liaison. In November 2008, Krout-Horn gave the opening address in honor of Native American Heritage month at St. Petersburg College. Some of Krout-Horn’s other guest appearances include Workshop Presenter, Two-Year College English Association Southeast Regional Conference, 2014;

Featured Speaker, Feathered Serpent Gallery, 2013;

Featured Presenter, Pinellas County Multi-cultural Teachers Association Conference, 2012;

Honored Guest, Florida Writers’ Association, 2011;

Honored Guest, Phi Beta Kappa, St. Petersburg College, 2011;

And Honored Guest, University of South Florida Honors Program, 2009;

Interviews with her have been featured on numerous radio programs, including Radio for Peace International’s Wolf Mountain Radio, Gia Scott’s Dawn of Shades, and KSOO Viewpoint University.

She is a regular contributor to Slate and Style magazine, and was awarded the publication’s 2008 fiction prize for her short story, War Pony. The publication awarded her again in 2012 for Trickster’s Daughter. Her essays and stories have appeared in several magazines and journals, including Breath and Shadow, Talking Stick Native Arts Quarterly, and Independent Ink. Additional works are included in the anthologies, Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning the Universe (Renegade Planets Publishing 2013) and When Spirits Visit (Renegade Planets Publishing 2016). She is the co-author of Transcendence (All Things That Matter Press 2009), which received the 2012 National Indie Excellence Award gold medal for visionary fiction, the autobiographical novel, My Father’s Blood (All Things That Matter Press 2011), and Dancing in Concrete Moccasins (All Things That Matter Press, 2016). 

Whether she is swimming with dolphins, cuddling with her beloved animal companions, or body surfing in the Gulf of Mexico, Amy Krout-Horn embraces life with a tenacity of spirit she attributes to her Native American ancestry. She lives in south Florida, where she currently is at work on her fourth novel, Sundogs and Sinners.

Created by Alexis Horn | 2016