ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Joy Harjo at #ALAMW21

This afternoon I was able to tune into Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s talk while tackling some meal prep tasks in my kitchen. Joy Harjo (Muscogee (Creek)) is the 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and the first Native American to hold the position. One thing that poet laureates do (I learned) is that she works on a special project of her choice with the Library of Congress. Joy Harjo’s chosen project is a story map of living Native poets called Living Nations, Living Words and it’s an amazing resource.

My view for the ALA President’s Program featuring Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo’s project Living Nations, Living Words seeks to recognize and highlight living Native American poets from all over America. On the site, which is free and open to anyone, you can find a map with markers that link to Native Nations poets. The links contain information about that poet and a recording of the poets reading and discussing one of their works.

This map is a wonderful way to discover Native Nations poetry, learn about authors you may not have known about, and to acknowledge and learn about Native Nations as they exist today. I think this would be a fantastic resource to share with students when learning about poetry and literature, as well as when you’re learning about Native Nations.

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