News Story

Joy Harjo to Speak at 34th Annual Symposium on the American Indian

TAHLEQUAH - Internationally known poet, performer, writer, musician, and professor of English at the University of California-Los Angeles, Joy Harjo, will be a featured speaker during the 34th Annual Symposium on the American Indian. Themed "Native Roots Run Deep, " the symposium runs April 5-8, 2006 on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah.

Additional events include traditional art demonstrations and a Cherokee language forum celebrating the new Cherokee bachelor's degree program at Northeastern. There will be a Native Language Revitalization seminar offering one-hour college credit to participants on April 6-7. The Symposium will conclude with the Annual NSU Powwow on April 8. For a complete list of events visit the Symposium web site or call the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-456-5511, ext. 4350.

Joy Harjo is a multi-talented artist of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She is an internationally known poet, performer, writer, and musician. She has published seven books of poetry and has received the Reader's Digest Award; the 1997 New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

She co-edited an anthology of contemporary Native women's writing: "Reinventing the Enemy's Language, Native Women's Writing of North America, " which was pronounced one of the London Observer's Best Books of 1997. She also wrote the award-winning children's book from Harcourt, "The Good Luck Cat."

Harjo co-produced the album "Letter from the End of the 20th Century" and is featured as poet and saxophone player. The album was honored by the First Americans in the Arts for Outstanding Musical Achievement and called by Pulse Magazine the "best dub poetry album recorded in North America." She has recently released a second CD of original songs, "Native Joy for Real. "

She has performed internationally, from the Arctic Circle in Norway at the Riddu Riddu Festival, to Madras, India, to the Ford Theater in Los Angeles. Harjo was the narrator for the Turner "The Native Americans" series and the narrator for the Emmy award-winning show, "Navajo Codetalkers" for National Geographic.

Harjo serves as the Joseph M. Russo Professor of Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico and, when not teaching and performing, she lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she is a member of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club.

Harjo will be joined by other featured speakers including Kevin Locke (Lakota), a noted cultural educator, hoop dancer, and flute player; Dr. Rennard Strickland (Cherokee/Osage), an expert on American Indian Law and Philip H. Knight Professor of law at the University of Oregon School of Law; Dr. Akira Yamamoto, an expert in Native American Linguistics and professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas; Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee), a noted author and former Chief of the Cherokee Nation; and Robert Conley (Cherokee), an award-winning novelist and poet.

The 34th Annual Symposium on the American Indian is sponsored by Northeastern State University, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oklahoma Humanities Council, and the Okalahoma Arts Council.


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