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Living Nations, Living Words, SAR Welcomes Joy Harjo

Mar 24, 2021

The School for Advanced Research (SAR) is pleased to present a virtual program welcoming U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (FREE and open to the public, hosted online, WednesdayApril 282:00 p.m. Mountain Time)The program includes a live Q&A with an opportunity to connect with the speaker through moderated questions.  

Joy Harjo is one of the most iconic and influential poets of our time. In the fall of 2020 Harjo, the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, began a new term within the appointed position. She is the third individual in the Poet Laureate program’s history to have a third term. This May, Harjo will publish Living Nations, Living Words, An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry, the culmination of a project aimed at introducing readers to the vast network of Native American poets, both historical and contemporary. The project is currently available as an online interactive map that features 47 contemporary Native poets that takes viewers through a story map with embedded online audio and visual components. 

In her introduction to the interactive project Harjo notes, “For my signature project as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, I conceived the idea of mapping the U.S. with Native Nations poets and poems. I want this map to counter damaging false assumptions—that indigenous peoples of our country are often invisible or are not seen as human. You will not find us fairly represented, if at all, in the cultural storytelling of America, and nearly nonexistent in the American book of poetry.”  

SAR’s president, Michael F. Brown, expresses great enthusiasm about Joy Harjo’s participation in the SAR event. “Hosting Joy Harjo is consistent with SAR’s commitment to promoting public understanding of Indigenous arts and heritage,” he says, adding, “Joy brings a prominent and spectacularly creative voice to these conversations.” 

© Karen Kuehn. Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts.

Reflecting on the upcoming program with SAR, Harjo shares, The StoryMap project was a way to widen the doorway that my poet laureateship created when I became the first Native U.S. Poet Laureate. It was important to show that there are many Native poets writing poetry alongside each other, and that we speak from a sense of place in which there are no political boundaries imposed by non-Native cultures and political entities. 

This event is supported by this year’s SAR Creative Thought Forum series sponsors, a Board Discretionary Grant of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and by the event’s media partner, the Academy of American Poets. 

Event Details: 

Living Nations, Living Words with Joy Harjo
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
FREE PROGRAM (with suggested donation)  

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