NPR

Joy Harjo Becomes The First Native American U.S. Poet Laureate

A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, the 68-year-old poet and musician says she bears "the honor on behalf of the people and my ancestors" and aims to serve as an "ambassador" of the art form.
Joy Harjo will become the 23rd poet laureate of the United States, making her the first Native American to hold the position. Source: Shawn Miller

Poet, writer and musician Joy Harjo — a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation — often draws on Native American stories, languages and myths. But she says that she's not self-consciously trying to bring that material into her work. If anything, it's the other way around.

"I think the culture is bringing me into it with poetry — that it's part of me," Harjo says in an interview with NPR's Lynn Neary. "I don't think about it ... And so it doesn't necessarily become a self-conscious thing — it's just there ... When you grow up as a person in your culture, you have

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