MAY 9, 1951


Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is a writer, academic, musician, and Native American and feminist activist.  Currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she teaches American Indian studies and English.  Publications include: The Last Song (1975); What Moon Drove Me to This? (1979); Secrets from the Center of the World (1989), In Mad Love and War (1990)–1991 American Book Award; Fishing (1992); She Had Some Horses (1994); A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales (2000); How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (2002); For a Girl Becoming (2009); Soul Talk, Song Language (2011); Crazy Brave (2012)–2013 American Book Award; and Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015)–Wallace Stevens Award.  Harjo plays saxophone with the band Poetic Justice.  In 2009, Joy received a Native American Music Award as best female artist and debuted her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light.  She became the 1st Native American Poet Lauriat in 2019.

Sources:  “Joy Harjo:  American Author, Academic, Musician and Artist,” Encyclopedia Britannica.  Retrieved 6/29/2019, “Joy Harjo, 1951-__,”  Retrieved 6/29/2019, “Librarian of Congress Names Joy Harjo the Nation's 23rd Poet Laureate,” Library of Congress, 6/19/2019.  Retrieved 6/29/2019, 
Photo: Shawn Miller, Library of Congress, 6/2019.  Public Domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.  

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