Presentations & Lectures

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures “Poets Aloud” – Joy Harjo

Virtual
Black and white photo portrait of author Joy Harjo

Three-term poet laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life.

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Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. A musical, kaleidoscopic, and wise follow-up to Crazy Brave, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.

Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, and the messengers of a changing earth―owls heralding grief, resilient desert plants, and a smooth green snake curled up in surprise. She celebrates the influences that shaped her poetry, among them Audre Lorde, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, Muscogee stomp dance call-and-response, Navajo horse songs, rain, and sunrise. In absorbing, incantatory prose, Harjo grieves at the loss of her mother, reckons with the theft of her ancestral homeland, and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member.

Moving fluidly between prose, song, and poetry, Harjo recounts a luminous journey of becoming, a spiritual map that will help us all find home. Poet Warrior sings with the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo.


This is a Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event presented in partnership with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Copies of Poet Warrior with a signed bookplate are available for pre-order from White Whale Bookstore. The book will be released on September 7, 2021.

This virtual event is free with registration. Closed captioning will be available. Watch on-demand on any device that supports YouTube for one week.

 

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