Beyond Sunrise, There Is a Song We Follow: US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in Conversation

April 16, 2020

Joy Harjo Virtual Event

When I began to listen to poetry, it's when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.
—Joy Harjo

What can poetry bring us in this time of crisis? What might poets laureate do in such a moment? Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, talks about her work in the position as well as the role poets and poetry can play right now.

Join us on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EST for this AWP Virtual Event in collaboration with the Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress.

Joy Harjo will be the Keynote Speaker at #AWP21 in Kansas City, MO, March 3-6, 2021. Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry—“soul talk,” as she calls it—for over four decades. To her, poems are “carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,” and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and mythmaking. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.

Rob Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center, will lead the conversation—and there will be a Q&A portion to conclude. We welcome your questions! Please submit questions by email to by April 25, 2020, and tune in on May 8 to see if yours is selected.


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