How We Became Human
New and Selected Poems 1975-2002
Any acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice.
This collection gathers poems from throughout Joy Harjo's twenty-eight-year career, beginning in 1973 in the age marked by the takeover at Wounded Knee and the rejuvenation of indigenous cultures in the world through poetry and music. How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace.
Over a quarter-century's work from the 2003 winner of the Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"Show[s] the remarkable progression of a writer determined to reconnect with her past and make sense of her present, drawing together the brutalities of contemporary reservation life with the beauty and sensibility of Native American culture and mythology....Alive with compassion, pain and love, this book is unquestionably an act of kindness."
"I turn and return to Harjo's poetry for her breathtaking complex witness and for her world-remaking language."