Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo

About Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo, born Joy Foster on May 9, 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an American poet, children's author, screenwriter, playwright, anthologist, saxophonist, singer, composer and professor in an American university. She is from a Native American ancestry and creek culture. Joy Harjo began writing poems at the age of twenty-two and published her first collection of poems The Last Song, in 1975. In 1980, What Moon Drove Me to This? was released, followed in 1982 by She Had Some Horses, a book in which she exposes the oppression of women, their spirituality and the advent of their awakening. She is a poet with a generous gift for storytelling. As a citizen of the Mvskoke tribal nation, she believes that every story she tells links her to her ancestors and connects her to us. She tends to think of each poem as a ceremonial object, which has the potential to create change.
In 2019, she was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and in the same year named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, a mandate which has been renewed twice and ends this year, in 2022.
Joy Harjo's literary work is inspired by the stories of Native Americans and their symbols, which she also uses to express herself on feminism and social justice.

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