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Joy Harjo and Native Americans in the Arts: Past & Present

Artist Spotlight: Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laurreate


About Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo is the United States Poet Laureate, since 2019. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1951, Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Harjo has authored nine books of poetry, several plays and children's books, and two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior.  Among the numerous awards and honors she has received are the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. 
As a musician and international performer, Harjo plays saxophone and flutes solo, often bringing together session musicians to form her back-up Arrow Dynamics Band. She has produced seven award-winning albums. Her newest album is entitled I Pray for My Enemies. She is Exec­u­tive Edi­tor of the anthol­o­gy When the Light of the World was Sub­dued, Our Songs Came Through — A Nor­ton Anthol­o­gy of Native Nations Poet­ry. Harjo is more recently the editor of Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry. The anthology serves as a companion piece to her signature Poet Laureate project of the same name, which includes an interactive story map of first nations poetry along with audio recordings of 47 contemporary Native poets reading and discussing their work. 
Harjo serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, is Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Books by Joy Harjo in McQuade

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