Library to Celebrate Joy Harjo’s Three Terms as U.S. Poet Laureate
Closing Events for Harjo’s Laureateship Include a Reading, Dance Party and Historic Retreat for In-Na-Po – Indigenous Nations Poets
The Library of Congress will celebrate Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. poet laureate, as her three terms in the position come to a conclusion with two public programs at the end of April.
“For a remarkable three terms as U.S. poet laureate, Joy Harjo has tirelessly promoted Native poets and poetry,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and she has been an insightful voice during the difficulties of a pandemic. We are eager to welcome her back to the Library to celebrate her tenure as poet laureate and to host the In-Na-Po retreat on her behalf.”
The Poet Laureate Closing Event will take place in the Coolidge Auditorium on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. ET, and will feature Harjo (an enrolled member of the Mvskoke Nation) reading and discussing her favorite “ancestor poems.” The evening will begin with a performance by singer-songwriter Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora, North Carolina) and will include a reading by poet Portlyn Houghton-Harjo (Mvskoke, Seminole). Harjo will end with a performance of her poem “Remember.” Tickets are free and available here. The event will also be livestreamed on the Library’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
On Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. ET, the Library will host a dance party for Harjo in the Montpelier Room featuring DJ Tnyce (Haliwa-Saponi) — and showcasing songs selected by Harjo as well as recordings of her own work. Tickets are free and available here.