Joy Harjo is our new U.S. Poet Laureate and I'm so excited! Her poems never fail to make me gasp, they are always so perfectly truthful and beautiful, painful and real. This collection weaves between the past and present of both her tribe and her personal experiences and is once again gasp-worthy. Recommended By Leah C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. 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. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendant of storytellers and "one of our finest--and most complicated — poets" (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.
"Fueled by a deep musicality and the indelible spirit, the poems of Joy Harjo are at once voraciously inventive and powerfully human...These are poems that hold us up to the truth and insist we pay attention." Jackson Poetry Prize citation, judged by Ada Limón, Alicia Ostriker, and D. A. Powell
"[Joy Harjo's] poetry is light and elixir, the very best prescription for us in wounded times." Sandra Cisneros, The Millions
"Joy Harjo is a giant-hearted, gorgeous, and glorious gift to the world. Her belief in art, in spirit, is so powerful, it can't help but spill over to us — lucky readers" Pam Houston
About the Author
Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee Creek Nation and was named United States Poet Laureate in 2019. The author of eight books of poetry and a memoir, Crazy Brave, her many honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.