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Joy Harjo

Read the author's books, poetry, and get sources about her works.

First Native American poet to serve as US Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden appointed Joy Harjo as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress on June 19, 2019.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”

About the Author

Joy Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position—she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry—including Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (W. W. Norton, 2015); The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award.

Harjo has also written a memoir, Crazy Brave (W. W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, The Good Luck Cat (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, For a Girl Becoming (University of Arizona Press, 2009). Her next book of poems, An American Sunrise, will be published by W. W. Norton in fall 2019. 

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