Celebrating Storytelling With Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
The Library's Director of Branch Operations Cindy Hohl joined U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in an online conversation April 27, 2021, as part of PBS Books’ Trailblazing American Women Writers series during National Poetry Month.

Harjo, a poet, playwright, and musician, is serving her second term as the first Native American poet to serve as the nation’s poet laureate. Her work focuses on feminism and social justice, often incorporating Indigenous values, symbols, and myths into her writing. A proud member of The Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo has kept close to her roots, and her poetry shows the beautiful connection she has to her Indigenous heritage.

"When I think of this country," Harjo says, "I think of a huge table. And the story is not complete -- or the song or the poem is not complete -- until we have every voice, until everyone is present."

Hohl, a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Santee, Nebraska, is this year’s president of the American Indian Library Association. She also serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the Joint Council of Librarians of Color and she holds a MBA degree from Baker University and a BA in Organizational Management and Leadership degree from Friends University. As an ALA Spectrum Scholar, she represents Indigenous Librarianship, and she is passionate about Indigenous Knowledge, leadership, literacy, and lifelong learning.

Watch video of this discussion below or on YouTube, and you can also check out a related reading list in the Library's catalog.