Big Read 2022 kicks off with poet Joy Harjo

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A photo of Joy Harjo. // Photo by Karen Kuehn

Haskell Indian Nations University will team with the Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Indian Center for the Big Read 2022 event Thursday, April 14, honoring acclaimed author and U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo.

Celebrating Native American literature by exploring history and culture through poetry, Harj0 will showcase her latest book An American Sunrise, where she will share her background in Indigenous traditions and heritage.

Joy Harjo became “one of our finest—and most complicated—poets” as she steadily makes contributions to enlighten the public on the origins of Indigenous land.

An American Sunrise dives into the topic of the Mvskoke people, which are modernly known as Muscogee, being vigorously removed from their original lands of the east of Mississippi to the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.

“Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other Indigenous families, essentially disappeared,” says KCPL in the Big Read press release.

“From her memory of her mother’s death to her beginnings in the Native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings.”

The Big Read’s 2022 community celebration will have its kick-off on Wednesday, April 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Kansas City Central Library at 14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO 64105. This will be an in-person event, so you can RSVP here.

This ongoing event will also have an evening with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo on Thursday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Plaza Branch Library. The in-person seating has reached its full capacity but will be available for live viewing on the KC Library’s YouTube channel.

Categories: Culture