Joy Harjo is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She was the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honour. She served three terms as the United States’ Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and was only the second Laureate to do so. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Nation and an important figure in the second wave of the literary Renaissance of Native American writing. She studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts, University of New Mexico, and earned an MFA degree at the University of Iowa’s prestigious creative writing program.

Harjo is the author of nine books of poetry, and two award-winning children’s books, as well as prose. She was a recipient of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. In 2019, she was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Harjo also founded For Girls Becoming for young Mvskoke women and is a Founding Board Member and Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation.

Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, June 6, 2019. Harjo is the first Native American to serve as poet laureate and is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.

Poems by Joy Harjo

Eagle Poem - Joy Harjo