TAHLEQUAH — The Northeastern State University Center for Women’s Studies and Department of Languages and Literature are hosting a poetry reading, “An Evening with Joy Harjo,” featuring United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus. A book signing will follow the reading.
In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd U.S. poet laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. Born in Tulsa, Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer and saxophone player of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Harjo has written nine books of poetry including “An American Sunrise,” “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings,” “How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems” and “She Had Some Horses.” She also wrote “Crazy Brave,” her memoir that 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 “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.”
“We are incredibly honored that Joy Harjo has agreed to visit NSU,” Dr. Suzanne Farmer, director of the Center for Women’s Studies, said. “Her poetry is beautiful and lends a voice to indigenous peoples in our country who are so often marginalized in our society at large. Her writing very much resonates with a large portion of our student body and the wider community.”
The poetry reading and book signing is free and open to the public.
“An Evening with Joy Harjo” is sponsored in part by the Center for Women’s Studies, Center for Tribal Studies, Department of Languages and Literature, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez, Arts Council of Tahlequah and Oklahoma Humanities.