Harjo, Joy

Harjo, Joy, 1951–, Native American poet and activist, b. Tulsa, Okla., B.A. Univ. of New Mexico, 1976, M.F.A. Univ. of Iowa, 1978. Her poems are collected in The Last Song (1975), She Had Some Horses (1983), In Mad Love and War (1990, American Book Award), The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994), How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (2002), Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015), An American Sunrise (2019), and other volumes. Informed by Native American traditions, they explore many aspects of the Native American experience, from everyday life, spiritual life, and cultural life to historical displacement and conflict and feminism. Among her other works are a young-adult book (2009), an essay collection, Soul Talk, Song Language (2011), and a memoir, Crazy Brave (2013, American Book Award). In 2019 Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Nation, became the first Native American to be named Poet Laureate of the United States. Harjo, who has taught at a number of U.S. universities, has been a professor at the Univ. of Tennessee since 2016.

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