— WASHING POST
“Creates bridges of understanding while reminding readers to face and remember the past”
Joy Harjo, the first Native American to be appointed US Poet Laureate, is a musician and author of nine books of poetry including An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings and She Had Some Horses.
Joy uses her poems as a bridge to open discussions around indigeneity while reminding people that “poetry belongs to everyone”. She describes her work as “confronting the kind of society that would diminish Native people, disappear us from the story of this country.”
Her memoir Crazy Brave won the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship.
Join Joy and Aotearoa poet Selina Tusitala Marsh for an evening of poetry, politics and what it means to be the voice of American verse today.
Joy Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry; a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music including the award-winning album Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. Forthcoming in the fall of 2019 is a book of poetry from Norton, An American Sunrise. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Selina Tusitala Marsh
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Poet and Professor
Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, Scottish and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from The University of Auckland and is now Associate Professor in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first poetry collection, Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2010. As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She became New Zealand’s Poet Laureate in 2017 and in 2019 was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to poetry, literature and the Pacific community. Photo credit Tim Page