Joy Harjo Quotes

March 4, 2023

Joy Harjo is a beloved multi-genre artist, poet, musician, and writer who has delighted, informed, and tantalized an international audience for over four decades. She fights tirelessly for Native American justice, ending violence against women, and a variety of important issues, and her masterful spiritual grace shines through in all her work.

US Poet Laureate

Joy's poetry is both uplifting and challenging, drawing on First Nation storytelling and histories as well as feminist and social justice poetic traditions. She writes in diverse landscapes, from the Southwest to Alaska and Hawaii, and her writing focuses on the need for remembrance and transcendence.

In her poetry, she sings of beauty and survival while illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living amid the ruins of injustice. She is the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, the first Native American to hold that position.

She is the author of numerous books, including Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years (2022); An American Sunrise (2019); Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015); and Crazy Brave (2012). She has been awarded the National Book Award, a Wallace Stevens Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, among others.

Her poems are deeply rooted in her Mvskoke (Creek) heritage, and she often incorporates her own tribal language into her poetry. She has also published works in prose, including Secrets from the Center of the World (1989), with photographs by Stephen Strom.


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