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Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as the U.S. Poet Laureate, will serve a third, one-year term and has launched an online project that features some of the most-celebrated Native poets in Indian Country.

Harjo’s reappointment was announced by the Library of Congress on Thursday.

Harjo is the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate. An enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, she will be only the second person in the position’s history to serve a third term, which will begin in September.

“This has been a challenging year for the country, for our earth. Poetry has provided doorways for joy, grief and understanding in the midst of turmoil and pandemic,” Harjo said in a statement to AP. “I welcome the opportunity of a third term to activate my project and visit communities to share Native poetry. The story of America begins with Native presence, thoughts and words. Poetry is made of word threads that weave and connect us.”

Harjo’s signature project, “Living Nations, Living Words,” features 47 contemporary Native writers, including Louise Erdrich and Natalie Diaz, through a digital story map and online audio collection.

“Throughout the pandemic, Joy Harjo has shown how poetry can help steady us and nurture us. I am thankful she is willing to continue this work on behalf of the country,” Librarian Carla Hayden said in a Library of Congress blog post celebrating the announcement. “A third term will give Joy the opportunity to develop and extend her signature project.”

Explore all that the project has to offer here.

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