When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through

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UPC: 9780393356809
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Authors: Joy Harjo (Editor), LeAnne Howe (Contributor), Jennifer Elise Foerster (Contributor)
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  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (August 25, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393356809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393356809
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches

The first historically comprehensive Native poetry anthology, without which no study of American poetry is complete.

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo gathers the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into one momentous volume. This landmark anthology celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries.

Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each section begins with a poem from the massive libraries of oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Dinéh poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Natalie Diaz, Tommy Pico, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. In When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, Harjo offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature.



Joy Harjo is the author of eight poetry collections and a memoir, Crazy Brave. The recipient of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and 2015 Wallace Stevens Award, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.