Joy Harjo – 2020 Special Guest Named U.S. Poet Laureate

The Festival congratulates Joy Harjo, our Special Guest Poet at the 16th annual festival, for her being named the 23rd United States Poet Laureate. We announced earlier that Harjo would be Special Guest Poet at the upcoming festival, where she will be interviewed by faculty poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and will deliver the annual Thomas Lux Memorial Reading following the festival gala.

“This is the second time that the Palm Beach Poetry Festival will host a sitting poet laureate of the United States, though we have featured many others before they were named or after they served,” said Williamson. “We could not be more thrilled to congratulate and welcome Joy Harjo, whose poetry often merges the global and the personal, and the imagery of the natural world with that of the inner one.”

Harjo, who sees poetry as “an immense conversation of the soul,” also was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Her memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. Her ninth book of poetry, An American Sunrise, will be published in August.

Many articles and mentions have appeared since the news was released:

Joy Harjo Named U.S. Poet Laureate – New York Times, June 19, 2019

Joy Harjo Becomes First Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, NPR June 19, 2019 (listen)