Photo: Matika Wilbur
Photo: Matika Wilbur

Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and was named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019.

The author of nine books of poetry, several plays and children's books, and a memoir, Crazy Brave, her many honors include the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, a PEN USA Literary Award, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Writers’ Award, a Rasmuson US Artist Fellowship, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Harjo is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through

A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry

Edited by Joy Harjo with LeAnne Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster, and Contributing Editors

When the Light of the World edited by Joy Harjo

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo gathers the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into the first historically comprehensive Native poetry anthology.

This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize–winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahanso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete.

Press: Interviews, Reviews, Articles

October 26, 2020, AP News
'The books that help her through' Oprah suggests seven

Winfrey is calling her choices “The Books That Help Me Through,” works she values for “their ability to comfort, inspire, and enlighten.” Oprah's list includes the anthology edited by U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, “When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry.”

October 20, 2020
Chief Seattle Club 50th Year Celebration

Wednesday, October 21, 12:30 pm PST

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo
Presenting US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke/Creek Nation) in a live streaming event followed by an interview by community and arts influencer Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole/Black) and audience Q&A.

Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/118363131559926/posts/3628874737175397/

YouTube Live: https://youtu.be/2t5ih2p1EKk

October 15, 2020, National Endowment for the Arts
NEA Announces An American Sunrise selected for 2021 BIG READ

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with Arts Midwest, announced today that guidelines are now available for nonprofit organizations interested in applying for a grant to hold an NEA Big Read project between September 2021 and June 2022. The books are available for NEA Big Read programming in 2021-2022 are An American Sunrise, Beloved, The Best We Could Do, The Call of the Wild, The Grapes of Wrath, and The House on Mango Street.

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Librarian of Congress Names Joy Harjo the Nation's 23rd Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.