Get a Copy of An American Sunrise | Browse our Virtual Branch of Companion Titles for All Ages | About the Book | About the Author |

The New Haven Free Public Library is pleased to once again participate in the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, CTHumanities, the New Haven Pride Center, and the New Haven Museum. The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. This year’s selection is An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo.

Visit the Arts and Ideas NEA Big Read website for more events and information. Check out the Arts and Ideas Festival for even more great events this year.


About the Book

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.

About the Author

Joy Har­jo, the 23rd Poet Lau­re­ate of the Unit­ed States, is a mem­ber of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hick­o­ry Ground). She is only the sec­ond poet to be appoint­ed a third term as U.S. Poet Laureate.  Harjo’s awards for poet­ry include the Ruth Lily Prize for Life­time Achieve­ment from the Poet­ry Foun­da­tion, the Acad­e­my of Amer­i­can Poets Wal­lace Stevens Award, the New Mex­i­co Governor’s Award for Excel­lence in the Arts, a PEN USA Lit­er­ary Award, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Writ­ers’ Award, the Poets & Writ­ers Jack­son Poet­ry Prize, a Ras­mu­son US Artist Fel­low­ship, two NEA fel­low­ships, and a Guggen­heim Fellowship. 


Get a Copy of An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo

Visit any NHFPL location after April 28th to pick up a copy of An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo. Free copies are available while supplies last. Alternatively, we also have copies available for checkout.


Browse our Virtual Micro Branch for Companion Titles for All Ages

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