Friday, June 21, 2019

Poetry Friday: Celebrating our Newest US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo

 Linda at A Word Edgewise is hosting
this week's round-up of poetic goodness.

I've been absent from this group for a few weeks, but I had to show up today to celebrate our newest US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Creek Nation and our first Native American poet laureate. As a fellow Oklahoman, I feel a connection to her since I have roots in Oklahoma too. 

"In an interview with Laura Coltelli in Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak, Harjo shared the creative process behind her poetry: 'I begin with the seed of an emotion, a place, and then move from there… I no longer see the poem as an ending point, perhaps more the end of a journey, an often long journey that can begin years earlier, say with the blur of the memory of the sun on someone’s cheek, a certain smell, an ache, and will culminate years later in a poem, sifted through a point, a lake in my heart through which language must come.'" I love the idea that a poem can be the end of a long journey that may have begun years earlier.

"Perhaps the World Ends Here," one of several favorites by Joy Harjo, speaks of the importance of the kitchen table:
"At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We 
       pray of suffering and remorse. We give 
It makes me think of the hours I've spent around a kitchen table. You can explore more poems by Joy Harjo here. I look forward to her time as our US Poet Laureate and seeing what she will do as she serves in this position.


  1. That quote by Harjo about the! I've copied that one to my journal. That is something to think about to lead to writing. I love it. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for that link to Perhaps the World Ends Here. I'm so thankful to everyone who is sharing Harjo's poetry this week. What and amazing woman.

  3. Thank you for the quote and for adding to the celebration of Joy Harjo! I LOVE that kitchen table poem! I'm at ours right now!!

  4. Ramona, I thank you, also, for showcasing Harjo's quote on poetry. It is an amazing find that I will add to my presentation for the graduate students I will be teaching at a summer institute.

  5. I love, love, love "Perhaps the World Ends Here." I don't know that much about Joy Harjo so am looking forward to becoming more familiar with her work.

  6. Yay for Joy Harjo! I'm loving all the posts introducing us to her work!

  7. I love her poem around the kitchen table–it can touch everyone, thanks!