An American Sunrise: Poems
In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother's death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and "one of our finest--and most complicated--poets" (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.
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About the AuthorJoy Harjo is the author of eight poetry collections and a memoir, Crazy Brave. The recipient of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and 2015 Wallace Stevens Award, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.
Full of celebration, crisis, brokenness, and healing.--Daisy Fried
While the subject matter of her new poems continuously hits you in the gut, Harjo brings a sense of resilience to that dark history.--Christian Allaire
Resplendent and reverberating... Harjo's bracing political perspective is matched by timeless wisdom... In clarion, incantatory poems that recalibrate the heart and mind, Harjo conveys both the endless ripples of loss and the brightening beauty and hope of the sunrise.
An American Sunrise is a wisdom quest as Joy Harjo returns to the place of her ancestors. This haunting and breathtaking book invokes the relocation of the southeastern peoples, of what they endured and lost. Harjo is a visionary and a truth sayer, and her expansive imagination sweeps time, interpolating history into the present. She writes: 'Rivers are the old roads, as are songs, to traverse memory.' Creating a confluence of words, a new language for storytelling arises. An American Sunrise is a powerful tour de force.--Elise Paschen, author of The Nightlife