Denison University’s Laura C. Harris Series and Beck Series welcome Joy Harjo.

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Denison University’s Laura C. Harris Series and Beck Series presents an evening with Joy Harjo: Women’s Empowerment, Indigenous Poetry, and Native Literature. Harjo is the first Native American United States Poet Laureate and the second to hold this position for three terms (2019-2022). Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine books of poetry and a memoir. Harjo just published a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, “When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through” (2020), and her memoir, “Poet Warrior” (2021).

Harjo will read from her work, inviting us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. She will read poems and share stories of her life, including what she has learned during her time as 23rd United States Poet Laureate.

Reading followed by Q&A with Denison University English Professors David Baker and Linda Krumholz. Harjo will sign books available for sale after the event.

Campus and community audiences will be subject to Denison Covid restrictions and guidelines in place at the time.  Ticket information coming soon. 

The Laura C. Harris Series theme for 2021-22, “Imagining Together: Indigenous Activisms & Feminisms,” seeks to deepen our knowledge and campus engagement with complex issues in indigeneity, indigenous feminisms, and indigenous-led approaches to solving pressing global and local problems, including Ohio indigenous histories.

Indigenous scholars and activists point to the gendered impacts of settler colonialism and genocide. These include gender-based and sexualized violence in the forcible displacement of Indigenous peoples from land and natural resources, distortions and deliberate destruction of social structures and kinship networks, and the demonizing and erasure of indigenous ways of knowing and being in the world.


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