ORIGINS Writers: Joy Harjo

Thursday, May 20, 2021 Start time: 6:30 pm


Venue: Online


I am singing a song that can only be born after losing a country - Joy Harjo 

In this first talk of the ORIGINS WRITERS series, we are joined by the US poet laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) to read from her work and to discuss her new anthology of Native Nations poetry: WHEN THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD WAS SUBDUED, OUR SONGS CAME THROUGH (W.W. Norton 2020).

Joy 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 co-edited the anthology of contemporary Native women’s writing: Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Native Women’s Writing of North America, one of the London Observer’s Best Books of 1997. 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 albums 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. Harjo’s latest is a book of poetry from Norton, An American Sunrise. In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Supported by Beyond the Spectacle. Chaired by Michael Walling (Festival Director).

ORIGINS WRITERS is a series of online literature events with leading First Nations writers and poets, launching the 2021-22 ORIGINS Festival.