News Release—NEA Big Read Keynote: Author Joy Harjo, US Poet Laureate
On Thursday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m., the finale of the Massillon Museum’s 2022 NEA Big Read will be the keynote by Muscogee author Joy Harjo, US Poet Laureate. The presentation will be held in MassMu’s Gessner Hall.
Although the event is free, registration should be made by visiting MassMu.org/tickets or by calling the Museum at 330.833.4061.
MassMu and its NEA Big Read partners have distributed 1,200 free copies of An American Sunrise, Harjo’s acclaimed poetry anthology, this year’s book selection. During its 15 years of receiving a grant to participate in this prestigious national initiative, the Museum has provided more than 30,000 complimentary books to the community.
In 2019, Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in that role. The author of nine books of poetry, Harjo has also written two memoirs, which invite readers to travel along with the heartaches, losses and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road.
Her numerous writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Harjo, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally. Her most recent album is I Pray for My Enemies.
The NEA Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark. The Massillon Public Library is MassMu’s major NEA partner and Rotary Club of Massillon, One Tiger, and Visit Canton provide support for the project.
The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon. For more information, call 330.833.4061 or visit massillonmuseum.org.
Alexandra Nicholis Coon – Massillon Museum Executive Director – 330-833-4061 x111
Stephanie Toole – Massillon Museum Education and Outreach Manager/Big Read Coordinator – 330-833-4061 x104
Joy Harjo (Image courtesy of Blue Flower Arts)