Catching the Light (Book)

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In this lyrical meditation about the why of writing poetry, Joy Harjo reflects on significant points of illumination, experience, and questioning from her fifty years as a poet. Comprised of intimate vignettes that take us through the author’s life journey as a youth in the late 1960’s, a single mother, and a champion of Native nations, this book offers a fresh understanding of how poetry functions as an express of purpose, spirit, community, and memory – in both the private, individual journey and as a vehicle for prophetic, public witness.

Harjo insists that the most meaningful poetry is birthed through cracks in history from what is broken and unseen. At the crossroads of this brokenness, she calls us to watch and listen for songs of justice for all those America has denied. This is an homage to the power of words to defy erasure – to inscribe the story, again and again, of who we have been, who we are, and who we can be.

Joy Harjo, winner of the 2022 Academy of American Poets Leadership Award, is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the twenty-third Poet Laureate of the United States. Her previous books include Poet Warrior and an American Sunrise.


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Joy Harjo
Book Details:
hardcover, 2022, 122 pages