NEW YORK – U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo will serve a third, one-year term and has launched an online project that celebrates Native American poets around the country.
Her reappointment was announced Thursday by the Library of Congress, and her new term begins 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, the first Native American to be named poet laureate, said in a statement. “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.”
Previous laureates include Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Tretheway and Robert Pinsky, the only other laureate in recent years to serve three terms.
Harjo's project is called “Living Nations, Living Words." It features a digital map of 47 contemporary writers, including Harjo, Louise Erdrich and Natalie Diaz. The map links to audio recordings of the writers reading and discussing an original poem.