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Finding Home in An American Sunrise

Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection accesses the painful memories and losses that so many of her people have suffered. But the strength of her poetry goes beyond just recounting the pain. Joy Harjo Bio

Author: Christopher Louis Romaguera | Mar282022Posted In Ploughshares Critical Essays

Early on in Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection, An American Sunrise, she writes: “all memory bends to fit. We become poems.”

For Harjo, everything becomes poetry, and everything comes back to life, comes back home, with poetry. In this book, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, writes about her people—who have been exiled from their own land, who are treated as refugees despite never leaving the country, who have watched their homes get stripped then taken away, who have watched their language and cultures and ancestors die off, but who are trying to fight this intergenerational battle with poetry, with the passing on of stories, with writing to the spirit world. FOR MORE

poetry, social justice, womens history

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