Rick Abasta is Tó áhání (Near the water people) born for Filipino. His maternal grandfathers are Kin łichíí’nii (Red house people) and his paternal grandfathers are Filipino. He was born on the Navajo Nation in Ft. Defiance, Arizona and raised in Window Rock and St. Michaels, Arizona.
Rick published a number of fanzines at Window Rock High School including The Zoo, Terra Incognita, and Human Persona, Inc. In college, he published two additional all-Native poetry zines, Plethoric Renditions of Existence and More Plethoric Renditions of Existence. On April 20, 2005, he began Ma’ii Productions and seven months later, published Terra Incognita, an alternative Diné zine. His first book is titled All Eyes on Me: A Collection of Diné Poetry and is published by Salina Bookshelf, Inc. Abasta’s poetry examines the contemporary themes of government, love, and family in Diné life.
He has worked in advertising and editorial capacities for Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, Navajo Times, Char-Koosta News, Native American Times, and Gallup Sun. Rick works in Window Rock and continues supporting and advocating for Navajo writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers.
All Eyes on Me: A Collection of Diné Poetry – The collection is a mix of personal thought and memory not unlike those that fill every person’s day. The memories of youthful angst against conformity evolve into an introspective line of self-determination. Poems of family troubles blend into poems of love and heartbreak. Capitalism and classism make their way to a reservation backdrop exposing the invasion of western life into reservation blues.
Rick Abasta dissects contemporary Diné issues in this collection of 30 poems.