Joy Harjo Named Poet Laureate

June 20, 2019

Joy HarjoPoet, writer, and musician Joy Harjo has been named the twenty-third Poet Laureate of the United States, the Library of Congress recently announced. Harjo, a member of the Muskogee Creek Nation, will be the first Native poet to hold the position.

The author of eight books of poetry, a memoir, and two books for young audiences, Joy Harjo has received many honors for her work including the PEN Open Book Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. A new book of poetry, An American Sunrise, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in August 2019.

“I want to bring the contribution of poetry of the tribal nations to the forefront and include it in the discussion of poetry,” she told PBS NewsHour. “This country is in need of deep healing. We’re in a transformational moment in national history and earth history, so whichever way we move is going to absolutely define us.”

Harjo will succeed Tracy K. Smith and will join Rita Dove, Louise Glück, and Juan Felipe Herrera as holders of this prestigious position.


Image Credit: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress

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