Native American Poetry and Music: UNA Writers Series Hosts Joy Harjo

Mar. 20, 2009


Series scheduled for April 16 and 17


UNA Writers Series

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama Writers Series will host Native American poet and musician Joy Harjo for its 2009 Writers Series. Her program will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 16 and 10 a.m. April 17 in the GUC Performance Center. The events are free and open to the public.

The UNA Writers Series funded in part through a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Harjo, born in Tulsa, Okla., is a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation. Her seven books of poetry include “She Had Some Horses,” “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” and “How We Became Human, New and Selected Poems.”

Her poetry has garnered many awards, including a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

She has released three award-winning CDs of original music and performances: “Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century,” “Native Joy for Real” and “She Had Some Horses.” A song from her forthcoming CD, “Winding Through the Milky Way,” just won a New Mexico Music Award.

Harjo has received the Eagle Spirit Achievement Award for overall contributions in the arts from the American Indian Film Festival and a U.S. Artists Fellowship for 2009.

She performs internationally solo and with her band, Joy Harjo and the Arrow Dynamics Band, for which she sings and plays saxophone and flutes. She premiered a preview of her one-woman show, “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light,” at the Public Theater in New York City and is opening at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles this month.

Harjo co-wrote the signature film of the National Museum of the American Indian, “A Thousand Roads.” She is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She writes a column, “Comings and Goings,” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News.

Harjo lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she is a member of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club, and in Albuquerque, N.M.

For more information on Harjo’s appearances at UNA, contact Pam Kingsbury at 256-765-4890 or pjkingsbury@una.edu.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: For photos of Harjo, visit www.joyharjo.com/PressKit.html.