First American Indian United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo to speak at Jamestown Settlement


Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, June 6, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – The 23rd United States Poet Laureate and the first American Indian to hold the position will speak at Jamestown Settlement in June.

Joy Harjo is slated to visit and speak at the museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture on Saturday, June 5. She will speak on the theme of resilience at 10:30 a.m. during a limited-capacity event planned outdoors on the museum mall which will be followed by a book-signing after the presentation.

The program is being held along with the yearlong special exhibition, “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience.”

The one-hour presentation is included with museum admission, and online tickets to this special performance must be purchased in advance to reserve a seat.

Joy Harjo (Courtesy – Jamestown Settlement)

Harjo is an internationally known award-winning poet, writer, performer and saxophone player of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma, is the author of nine books of poetry and two memoirs.

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.

“FOCUSED,” a contemporary special exhibition on display through March 25, 2022, features personal and professional photography collections charting the past century of change and resilience of Virginia’s Indian population, from the passage and repeal of the Racial Integrity Act in 1924 to the contemporary efforts of 11 Virginia tribes to receive state and federal recognition.

The exhibition collaborated with Virginia Indian tribal communities to highlight themes central to Virginia Indian daily life, including the establishment and maintenance of Virginia Indian reservations and tribal lands, education, fishing and hunting, traditional crafts, and cultural heritage.

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