Presenters

Joy Harjo

Indigenous Poet, Memoirist, Musician
Winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
PEN USA Literary Award for Nonfiction
Wallace Stevens Award for Poetry

“I turn and return to Harjo’s poetry for her breathtaking complex witness and for her world-remaking language.” —Adrienne Rich

“Defining the poet’s role as a ‘journey for truth, for justice,’ Harjo explores the role of the artist in society, the quest for love, the links among the arts, what constitutes family, and what it means to be human.” —Library Journal

“Joy Harjo is a poet of music just as she is a poet of words.” —Paul Winter, Grammy award winning saxophonist

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Joy Harjo is an internationally known poet, writer, performer, and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. Her many writing awards include the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Rasmuson United States Artist Fellowship, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. On behalf of the judges of the Wallace Stevens Award, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Alicia Ostriker said: “Throughout her extraordinary career as poet, storyteller, musician, memoirist, playwright and activist, Joy Harjo has worked to expand our American language, culture, and soul. A Creek Indian and student of First Nation history, Harjo is rooted simultaneously in the natural world, in earth—especially the landscape of the American Southwest—and in the spirit world. Aided by these redemptive forces of nature and spirit, incorporating native traditions of prayer and myth into a powerfully contemporary idiom, her visionary justice-seeking art transforms personal and collective bitterness to beauty, fragmentation to wholeness, and trauma to healing.” Read more.

SEAN HILL

“Sean Hill is a fastidious thinker.”

—Nikky Finney, author of Head Off & Split

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“Sean Hill has written a book to be grateful for.”

—Linda Gregerson, author of The Selvage

Born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill is the author of Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, named one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book, (UGA Press, 2008). He’s received numerous awards including fellowships from Cave Canem, the Region 2 Arts Council, the Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Most recently, he received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Harvard Review, The Oxford American, Poetry, Tin House, and numerous other journals, and in several anthologies including Black Natureand Villanelles. Hill is a consulting editor at Broadsided Press, a monthly broadside publisher. He’s an assistant professor in the Creative Writing Program at UA-Fairbanks. Read more.

 

 

 

 

 

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