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.

More Stories Like This

College Enrollment Decreases for Native Students
California Bill Advances to Protect Native Students’ Rights to Wear Cultural Items
American Indian College Fund Offers $20 Gift Card for Scholarship Applicants
Bill Passes Requiring All Schools to Teach Native American History in North Dakota
Pathway to Law Initiative Offers ‘Auntie’ Mentorship to Native Kids

10 years of Native News...

We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff