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Joy Harjo

An Evening with the U.S. Poet Laureate Wed, Feb 5 / 7:30 PM / Fleischmann Auditorium Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Presented in association with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

photo: Matika Wilbur

Lead Sponsors: Marcy Carsey Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin Dick Wolf Major Sponsor: Zegar Family Foundation

Presented through the generosity of Diana & Simon Raab

In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. Born in Tulsa, Okla., Harjo is an award-winning poet, writer, performer and saxophone player of the Muskogee Creek Nation. Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Paul Winter says, “Joy Harjo is a poet of music just as she is a poet of words.” She is the author of nine books of poetry and a memoir. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Harjo’s poetry collections include An American Sunrise (2019), Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015), How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (2002) and She Had Some Horses (1982). Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings was shortlisted for the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize and added to the American Library Association’s 2016 Notable Books List. Her memoir, Crazy Brave (2012), won several awards including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. Harjo is currently working on her next memoir, and she has a commission from the Public Theater of New York to write We Were There When Jazz Was Invented – a musical play that will restore Southeastern natives to the American story of blues and jazz.

Soul Talk, Song Language (2011) is a collection of Harjo’s essays and interviews. She co-edited an anthology of contemporary Native women’s writing, Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Native Women’s Writing of North America, one of the London Observer’s Best Books of 1997. She wrote the award-winning children’s book The Good Luck Cat, and in 2009, she published a young adult coming-of-age-book, For a Girl Becoming, which won a Moonbeam Award and a Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Awards. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, The Arrow Dynamics. She has five CDs of music and poetry including her most recent award-winning album of traditional flute, Red Dreams: A Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. She also performs her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles in 2009. Harjo is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Rasmuson United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Books are available for purchase in the lobby and a signing follows the event

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