Meet Joy Harjo — National Poetry Month Featured Poet for April 3rd
Strongly influenced by her Mvskoke (Creek) heritage, feminist and social concerns, and her background in the arts, Joy Harjo frequently incorporates Mvskoke myths, symbols, and values into her writing. Her poetry inhabits the Southwest landscape and centers around the need for remembrance and transcendence. She once commented, “I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors, to my home country, to all places that I touch down on and that are myself, to all voices, all women, all of my tribe, all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings. In a strange kind of sense [writing] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” Her work is often autobiographical, informed by her love of the natural world and her preoccupation with survival and the limitations of language.
The Roots of Poetry Lead to Music, Interview by Simmons B. Buntin