Joy Harjo, national Poet Laureate, author and acclaimed musician, will read poetry and then join in conversation with students from the First Nations Club at Peninsula College in a virtual Studium Generale event on Jan. 28. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

Joy Harjo, national Poet Laureate, author and acclaimed musician, will read poetry and then join in conversation with students from the First Nations Club at Peninsula College in a virtual Studium Generale event on Jan. 28. (Photo by Matika Wilbur)

First Native National Poet Laureate to read in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Joy Harjo, National Poet Laureate, author and musician, will read poetry and join in conversation with students from the First Nations Club at Peninsula College in a virtual Jan. 28 Studium Generale event, starting at 12:30 p.m.

Join the Studium presentation via Zoom at us02web.zoom.us/j/ 82419155703 (meeting ID: 824 1915 5703).

Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate in June 2019, and is the first Native American to hold this position. She is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer and saxophone player. Born in Tulsa, Okla., she is a member of the Muscogee/Creek Nation.

Harjo is the author of nine books of poetry and a memoir.

Her poetry collections include “An American Sunrise,” “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings,” “How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems” and “She Had Some Horses.”

Her writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

“Harjo’s work speaks not only to the world we live in, but to the unseen world that moves through us, the thread that has connected us all from the start,” according to The Judges Citation of the Jackson Prize.

“Throughout her luminous and substantial body of work, there is a sense of timelessness, of ‘ongoingness,’ of history repeating; these are poems that hold us up to the truth and insist we pay attention.”

An example of her work is from Running, a poem in “An American Sunrise:”

“I wasn’t ready yet, to fling free the cross/I ran and I ran through the 2 a.m. streets./It was my way of breaking free./I was anything but history./I was the wind.”

Harjo is working on her next memoir and has a commission from the Public Theater of New York to write “We Were There When Jazz Was Invented,” a musical play that looks to restore southeastern natives to the American story of blues and jazz.

Harjo performs nationally and internationally, both solo and with her band, The Arrow Dynamics. She has five CDs of music and poetry to her name.

She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Rasmuson United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.

The visit was made possible through contributions to the Peninsula College Foundation and is being offered in partnership with House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse and The First Nations Club.

The First Nations Club and Studium are also partnering with Port Book and News to promote Harjo’s books.

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