Published on November 27, 2012 by Amy
Joy Harjo (born May 9, 1951) is a Native American poet, musician, and author. She is often cited as playing a formidable role in the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has coined the Native American Renaissance.
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Known primarily as a poet, Harjo has also taught at the college level, played alto saxophone with a band called Poetic Justice, edited literary journals, and written screenplays.
Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is of Cherokee descent. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.
In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.
In 2002, Harjo received the PEN Open Book Award, formerly known as the Beyond Margins Award for A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales
In January of 2013, Harjo will join the faculty of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.