Native American Authors
Joy Harjo, 1951-
Joy Harjo’s poems explore some of the reasons Indians drink and why many are trapped in a vicious cycle of alcoholism. She tries to resolve polarities to bring this world into balance. She learned most of her Indian identity from her great aunt. Harjo was born 1951, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She completed a MFA (Creative Writing) at the University of Iowa in 1978. She taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Arizona State University, University of Colorado, and the University of New Mexico. Harjo plays tenor saxophone and has performed with Poetic Justice, a band in Denver.
Awards and Honors
Academy of American Poetry Award
Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year (Recording – CD/Audiocassette) Award, 1998
Online resources by or about Joy Harjo:
American Indian Rap and Reggae: Dancing “To the Beat of a Different Drummer”
Author: Neal Ullestad
Description: A review of American Indian music (including the contributions of Harjo and Trudell) from the Summer, 1999 issue of Popular Music and Society.
Author: Sarah Mischler and Scott Christensen
Description: This page is part of a series from Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color produced by the Department of English and Programs in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Included is an in-depth biography, selected bibliography and related links.
Author: Joy Harjo and Karen Strom
Description: Biographical and bibliographical information about Harjo.
Joy Harjo – The Academy of American Poets
Author: Academy of American Poets
Description: Profile of Harjo which includes a link to the text of her poem Deer Dancer.
Joy Harjo and Her Poetics as Praxis: A “Postcolonial” Political Economy of the Body, Land, Labor, and Language
Author: Azfar Hussain
Description: A critical essay from wicazo sa review: A Journal of Native American Studies 15.2 (2000) 27-61.
Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century
Author: Thomas Rain Crowe
Description: Review of Harjo’s album from the Rain Taxi Review of Books, (Vol 3, No. 1).
Books by Joy Harjo:
Harjo, Joy. The good luck cat
San Diego, CA : Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Harjo, Joy. The last song
Las Cruces, NM : Puerto del Sol Press, 1975.
Harjo, Joy. In mad love and war
Middletown, Connecticut : Wesleyan University Press, 1990.
ISBN: 0819521809 (h.c.) / 081951182x (pbk.)
Harjo, Joy. A map to the next world : poetry and tales
New York : W.W. Norton, 2000.
Harjo, Joy. Secrets from the center of the world
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, 1989.
Harjo, Joy. She had some horses
New York : Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1983.
ISBN: 0938410075 (hc.) / 0938410067 (pbk.)
Harjo, Joy. The spiral of memory : interviews
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1996.
ISBN: 0472095811 (h.c.) / 0472065815 (pbk.)
Harjo, Joy. What moon drove me to this
Berkeley : Reed and Cannon, 1979.
Harjo, Joy. The woman who fell from the sky
New York : W.W. Norton, 1994.
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