US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo sets virtual event via KU for later this month

Photo With Red Shirt And Hand

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

A highly anticipated Evening with Joy Harjo will allow registered participants to join in on a free, live, and interactive online presentation featuring the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

Harjo will discuss her newest book, Poet Warrior: a Memoir, which documents her journey to writing poetry about compassion, healing, and movement towards social justice.

The panel begins Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. and is a collaboration between Humanities Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, the Lawrence Public Library, and the University of Kansas’ Hall Center for the Humanities.

Harjo has published nine books of poetry and is the first Native American to earn the Poet Laureate role. She has now been elected to the position three times. As a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma, she uses her unique perspective and literary background to educate, enlighten, and entertain. Her skills extend to music as well, as seen with her mass collaboration project, I Pray for My Enemies.

Sonwai Wakayuta, a Lawrence junior who is affiliated with the Hualapai and Hopi tribes, grew up studying Harjo’s words.

“She appreciates details in everyday life. Not about hope, glamour, happiness—it’s really just about existence and being in the moment,” Wakayuta says. “A boring, mundane day can be simple and beautiful if you understand that just being alive is the appreciation.”

The event will no doubt serve as a hard-to-pass-up opportunity to learn from one of the nation’s most vital Native figures.

Categories: Culture