On June 19, 2019, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Harjo officially began her term as Laureate on September 19, when she opened the Library’s annual literary with a reading and performance of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium External. In addition to reading from her repertoire of poems spanning a 40-year career, Harjo, who is an award-winning musician, also performed with bassist Howard Cloud and keyboardist Robert Muller. A video of the inaugural event, as livestreamed on YouTube, can be watched below:
Harjo does not currently have a national project for her tenure as Poet Laureate. She told the Associated Press External, "I don’t have a defined project right now, but I want to bring the contribution of poetry of the tribal nations to the forefront and include it in the discussion of poetry." And The Washington Post writes External, "one of Harjo’s first projects will involve using her new pulpit to humanize Native Americans for a country that still harbors so many misconceptions about them."
Harjo's readings, projects, and other official activities as U.S. Poet Laureate will be documented in this space. A brief Q&A with Joy Harjo during her laureate orientation follows below.
Library of Congress press releases about Joy Harjo's poet laureate appointment, activities, and events are listed below.
Library of Congress blog posts about Joy Harjo.
The Library of Congress features several recordings of Joy Harjo reading and discussing her poetry and the poetry of other poets. These are listed below.