UVA is excited to welcome Joy Harjo, the first Native American to be appointed Poet Laureate, for a virtual visit. Harjo will present a poetry reading for UVA and its wider community on the evening of Monday, November 16 at 6:00pm EST. Event is free, but registration is required. Please register at this link. A Q&A session will follow the reading, and registrants can submit a question when they register.
Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and was named the 23rd United States Poet Laureate 2019-2021.
Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music including the award-winning album Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Harjo recently edited When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, which includes works by 160 poets representing nearly 100 Indigenous nations.
"Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry—‘soul talk’ as she calls it—for over four decades,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are."
Harjo's poetry reading is part of a three-day virtual visit to UVA, during which she will also meet with students in classes, and with members of Native American and Indigenous Studies @ UVA.
Visit Poet Laureate Harjo's web site here, or read about her appointment as Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress here.
The event is organized by Native American and Indigenous Studies @ UVA and supported by UVA's Office of the President, Office of the Vice President and Provost, Office of Engagement, Mellon Indigenous Arts Program, Mapping Indigenous Worlds Humanities Lab, UVA Library, Global Studies program, and the Departments of English and Anthropology.
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