NEA Art Works Podcast

To honor the Winter Solstice, (more specifically, that the days are getting longer from here on in), as well as Jupiter and Saturn having their closest visible alignment in 800 years and to celebrate her recent appointment to a third term in the position, we’re reposting my interview with US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Muscogee/Creek). I interviewed her in early Spring, soon after the pandemic, and I find myself re-reading her work and appreciating how much Joy Harjo is a poet for this moment. Joy’s poetry is rooted in landscape and place yet is also transcendent. In her recent collection “An American Sunrise,” which is an NEA Big Read selection, Joy draws on Native myth and storytelling as she writes of tribal displacement, a trail of tears that sings of ancestral lands, of a history that remains present, and of a culture that’s essential. The podcast is a far-reaching conversation about poetry and music (Joy plays a mean saxophone). She reads some poems and talks about her deep love of poetry and language and her equally passionate relationship with jazz and music. She’s is a great thinker and lively conversationalist. So, enjoy the podcast as we say “good-bye” to 2020 and look forward to the new year!