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Poet Warrior: A Memoir (Paperback)

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Poet Warrior: A Memoir By Joy Harjo Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

This book is part of our Winter Reading Program. See more here.

Selected as a Best Nonfiction Book of the Year 2021 by Bookshop staff:
Reading poet laureate Joy Harjo’s memoir is like soaking in peaceful, healing waters. We're introduced to the Poet Girl and stanza by stanza, chapter by chapter, we come to know her as the Poet Warrior. Through the telling of her own historical trauma, Harjo gently, with great understanding and wisdom, helps us to see how we can sit with and talk to the broken parts of our own story and retell it to ourselves as an act of grieving, healing, and maybe even strength. I will give this book to my sisters and my friends knowing that what is experienced in reading this book is more than I could ever say myself, and everything I want them to know.

— Jenny


National bestseller

An ALA Notable Book

Three-term poet laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life.

Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her "poet-warrior" road. A musical, kaleidoscopic, and wise follow-up to Crazy Brave, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.

Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, and the messengers of a changing earth—owls heralding grief, resilient desert plants, and a smooth green snake curled up in surprise. She celebrates the influences that shaped her poetry, among them Audre Lorde, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, Muscogee stomp dance call-and-response, Navajo horse songs, rain, and sunrise. In absorbing, incantatory prose, Harjo grieves at the loss of her mother, reckons with the theft of her ancestral homeland, and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member.

Moving fluidly between prose, song, and poetry, Harjo recounts a luminous journey of becoming, a spiritual map that will help us all find home. Poet Warrior sings with the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo.

About the Author

Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine poetry collections and two memoirs, most recently Poet Warrior. The recipient of the 2023 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, and the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324022015
ISBN-10: 1324022019
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 9/14/2021 10:01pm
Last Updated At: 12/7/2023 07:20am

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