Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, is the featured speaker for the 2022 College of Arts and Sciences Commencement taking place Saturday, May 21 at 8:30 a.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena. She will also receive an honorary degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Harjo, who served as the John C. Hodges Chair of Excellence in the Department of English, is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
She is the author of nine books of poetry, several plays, children’s books, and two memoirs; she has also edited several anthologies and produced seven award-winning music albums.
Her many honors include the Ruth Lily Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Harjo is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, National Native American Hall of Fame, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence of the Bob Dylan Center.
Photo: Denise Toombs Lasting Impressions Photography courtesty of YWCA