Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. Her seven books of poetry, which includes such well-known titles as How We Became Human- New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses have garnered many awards. These include the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For A Girl Becoming, a young adult / coming of age book, was released in 2009 and is Harjo's most recent publication. Forthcoming is a book of interviews, columns and essays from Wesleyan, Soul Talk, Soul Language, from Wesleyan in 2011. She has released four award-winning CD's of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. She won a 2010 New Mexico Music Award for her single "This America", and has newly released a traditional flute album, Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears. She performs nationally and internationally with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She also performs her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles in 2009 and has been performed at the Public Theater in NYC. She has received a Rasmusson / USA Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo also writes a column "Comings and Goings" for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Portrait photo courtesy Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo and Larry Mitchell (a member of Harjo's Arrow Dynamics Band) outside of Albuquerque, NM, 2008; photo courtesy Karen Kuehn