Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 06-19-2019, 10:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,324
Default Joy Harjo

is our new US Poet Laureate. If you don't know her, check out How We Became Human. Here's a poem from it:

http://www.amerinda.org/newsletter/13-3/harjo.html

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 06-19-2019, 10:56 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 2,907
Default

Wow. Is it very shallow of me to say she looks incredible? Like a cross between Patti Smith and Kate Bush. In my defence I'd say the same if the new Laureate were a man and looked like Jimi Hendrix or a young Bob Dylan.

Right. I'll read the poem now.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 06-19-2019, 11:15 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,324
Default

She's older now but still looks great. Here's a random photo and more poems on poets.org:

https://poets.org/poet/joy-harjo

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 06-19-2019, 12:57 PM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 5,848
Default

Given the fact that Joy Harjo hasn't exactly made any secret of her views on Trump and on the protests at Standing Rock, this should be interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 06-19-2019, 01:03 PM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Belmont MA
Posts: 4,803
Default

Sadly, the Library of Congress blew the announcement.

William Jay Smith (1968-1970) was the first Native American Poet Laureate (the Library routinely refers to the old "consultants" as laureates).

It is important for the Librarian of Congress to take responsibility for the staff error and to find ways to honor both poets.

Continued silence about Smith would be an ironic erasure of an important part of our literary history.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 06-19-2019, 08:01 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,092
Default

x
Blown announcement aside, this is good news for many reasons. Joyful even.
x
x
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 06-19-2019, 10:05 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,353
Default

In addition to being a fine poet, she's a master of the short story. I've taught them and the students are moved and amazed.
__________________
Ralph
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 06-19-2019, 11:57 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,324
Default

Yes, the absence of William Jay Smith from the announcement should not detract from Joy Harjo's own qualities. She's also a playwright and musician (saxophonist) with five albums to her name. BTW Wikipedia repeats the claim that she's the first Native American Poet Laureate. That could be edited, to do justice to her predecessor. Similarly, Smith's Wikipedia page, while noting his stint as Laureate, makes no mention of his Native American ancestry.

Cheers,
John

Update: I just checked my Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry out of curiosity. Smith is absent there as well.

Last edited by John Isbell; 06-20-2019 at 12:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 06-20-2019, 04:57 AM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,023
Default

??? That Wikipedia does not mention his Native American ancestry proves nothing and make his no less actual, so what is the point?; if anything, the lack of this mention suggests the incompleteness of the wiki article, the one that consists of only a few sentences. By contrast, the entry for William Jay Smith over at The Poetry Foundation affords a fuller picture and thus includes the following: Smith drew upon his Native American heritage—he was part Choctaw—for The Cherokee Lottery...

In any event, I am surprised that you, as an academic, should resort to citing Wikipedia as proof of anything, as if authoritative or reliable. My professors forbade us to cite from there where anyone can add and edit; in fact, you would not believe it but that was literally the last thing I was doing before this, fixing an entry riddled with omissions and mischaracterizations.

But besides, I do not think anyone is suggesting that 'the absence of William Jay Smith from the announcement should detract from Joy Harjo's own qualities.' Who would? Rather, it was said that the phrasing of the announcement suffered to deny the former laureate his due. This may be acknowledged and rectified without having to diminish the praise or estimation of Joy Harjo. Let us celebrate her and not neglect him; let us give him his due without diminishing hers. For the two things are not mutually exclusive; nay, both are simply due.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 06-20-2019 at 05:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Unread 06-20-2019, 06:04 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 2,907
Default

If you google 'new poet laureate Joy Harjo', pretty much every result has the words 'first Native American' in the headline. So clearly this is seen as an important aspect of the announcement. If, in fact, she isn't (and it seems she might not be) then yes, slightly embarrassing as it may be for the Library of Congress, they should probably amend their announcement. It takes away nothing from Joy Harjo's qualities as a poet or her suitability for the role.

And that will be an end of it. A simple factual error amended and everyone will be happy. Because when it comes to questions of accuracy around notions of culture, race and identity, people are generally very reasonable. Ahem.


Edit: I liked the linked poem. And that's interesting, Ralph, I'll seek them out.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,986
Total Threads: 19,614
Total Posts: 250,694
There are 135 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online