- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company (September 7, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0393248526
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393248524
- Item Weight : 14.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
"Holy Wow! I loved this book! Joy Harjo weaves her poetry between acutely held moments and memories that emerge as if recalled in conversation with a close friend. She cradles the tangled bundle of a full and complex life in both arms without dropping or disregarding any part of it." —Isa
Three-term poet laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life.
Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her "poet-warrior" road. A musical, kaleidoscopic, and wise follow-up to Crazy Brave, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.
Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, and the messengers of a changing earth―owls heralding grief, resilient desert plants, and a smooth green snake curled up in surprise. She celebrates the influences that shaped her poetry, among them Audre Lorde, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, Muscogee stomp dance call-and-response, Navajo horse songs, rain, and sunrise. In absorbing, incantatory prose, Harjo grieves at the loss of her mother, reckons with the theft of her ancestral homeland, and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member.
Moving fluidly between prose, song, and poetry, Harjo recounts a luminous journey of becoming, a spiritual map that will help us all find home. Poet Warrior sings with the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo.
Praise for Joy Harjo and Crazy Brave
"Joy Harjo has always been able to see with more than her eyes. Her writing is a testament to this gift…Her hero’s journey is a gift for all those struggling to make their way."
― Sandra Cisneros
"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
"Insightful…Crazy Brave brings one of our finest―and most complicated―poets into view…Raw and honest."
― Jack Shakely, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Harjo is a magician and a master of the English language…[S]he knows how to navigate the rough waters of silence, exile and cunning."
― Jonah Raskin, San Francisco Chronicle
"A…saga about the survival of spirituality and creativity in the face of generations of racism, dispossession, and familial dysfunction…[F]antastic, terrible, and beautiful."
― Rebecca Steintz, Boston Globe
"Harjo gives readers a glimpse into her own mythic life moments: waking dreams that result in some of her most evocative and important poems. Harjo’s poetry, woven throughout, makes this memoir a must-read for her fans and a fascinating door into her world for those new to her work."
― Elizabeth Wilkinson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
About the Author
Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently An American Sunrise, and one previous memoir, Crazy Brave. She edited the anthologies When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through and Living Nations, Living Words. Named poet laureate of the United States in 2019, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.