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April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). She is only the second poet to be appointed a third term as U.S. Poet Laureate. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she left home to attend high school at the innovative Institute of American Indian Arts, which was then a Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Harjo began writing poetry as a member of the University of New Mexico’s Native student organization, the Kiva Club, in response to Native empowerment movements. She went on to earn her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teach English, Creative Writing, and American Indian Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, University of New Mexico, University of Arizona, Arizona State, University of Illinois, University of Colorado, University of Hawai’i, Institute of American Indian Arts, and the University of Tennessee, while performing music and poetry nationally and internationally. She’ll be appearing at Word of South with the musician Larry Mitchell.