Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo is a poet and performer whose seven books of poetry include How We Became Human, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses. She is also author of a memoir, Crazy Brave, and Soul Talk, Song Language, a collection of essays and interviews.

Harjo’s poetry has garnered many awards, including the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, 1998 Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Additionally, she co-edited an anthology of contemporary Native American women’s writing, Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Native Women's Writing of North America, one of the London Observer's Best Books of 1997. She also wrote the award-winning childrens’ book, The Good Luck Cat, and in 2009 she published a young adult, coming-of-age-book, For A Girl Becoming, which won a Moonbeam Award and a Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Awards.

Harjo’s memoir, Crazy Brave, tells of her journey to becoming a poet and was called “The best kind of memoir, an unself-conscious mix of autobiography, spiritual rumination, cultural evaluation, history and political analysis told in simple but authoritative and deeply poetic prose,” by Ms. magazine.

Also a renowned musician, Joy Harjo has released four award-winning CDs of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. Her most recent CD release is a traditional flute album: Red Dreams, a Trail Beyond Tears.


What Others are Saying About Joy Harjo

“Joy Harjo is a poet of music just as she is a poet of words.”
—Paul Winter