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Joy Harjo: Ancestor of a Poem

The acclaimed Native American artist, poet, and musician reflects on tapping into the creative source, bearing the pain of cultural appropriation, and learning to embrace fear.


Photo Credit: Karen Kuehn

It’s not easy to catch up with Muscogee Creek artist Joy Harjo. First she’s at a poetry festival in Edmonton, Alberta. Then she’s off to New York for a ceremony celebrating her award of a Guggenheim fellowship. Known primarily as a poet, Joy is also a saxophone player, playwright …

Poem from A Map to the Next World: Poems and Tales by Joy Harjo. Norton, 2000. Reprinted with permission.

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