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Pick up free copy of “An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo at any Juneau Public Library

October 7, 2021 – FYI, News

Juneau residents can visit any Juneau Public Library and pick up a free copy of An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo (see opening hours here). This is thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program. Learn more at bigreadjuneau.org.

Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is serving her third term as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States.

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.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The NEA Big Read in Juneau is presented in partnership with Juneau-Douglas City Museum, UAS Egan Library, Perseverance Theater, and 49 Writers with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.