Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo, Tulsa native and U.S. Poet Laureate, poses in her space at the Tulsa Artist Fellows Studios. Harjo has selected 22 poems by contemporary writers to be featured in a “Poem-a-Day” series in honor of National Poetry Month. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo has selected 22 poems by contemporary writers to be featured in a “Poem-a-Day” series in honor of National Poetry Month.

The poems will be shared daily through the month of April to those who sign up for the Poem-a-Day program. The poems will be available via email, social media, web and syndication. To register: poets.org/poem-a-day.

“I’m honored to curate Poem-a-Day during the month of April,” said Harjo, a Tulsa native who is the first Native American to hold the position of U.S. Poet Laureate. “During these uncertain times when we are distanced from one another, may these poems remind us that we are undeniably connected. This is the power of poetry.”

Among the poets to be featured are former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Peter Balakian, Pushcart Prize-winning poet and Guggenheim Fellow Patricia Smith, American Book Award winner Ray Young Bear, Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye and other acclaimed poets writing today.

“Reading a poem every morning can be a calming and centering practice,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets. “We hope that in this unprecedented moment, poetry will help guide us through, and we’re especially grateful to Joy for curating a powerful month of reading.”

Harjo was appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in June 2019. Her most recent book, “American Sunrise,” was published by W. W. Norton last August.

She is a recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

She has also received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Harjo was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2019.

James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478

james.watts@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: watzworld