Joy Harjo is first Native American named US poet laureate

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Joy Harjo

In this June 6, 2019 photo, Joy Harjo, of the United States, poses inside the Library of Congress, in Washington. Harjo has been named the country’s next poet laureate, becoming the first Native American to hold that position. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced Harjo’s appointment, saying in a statement Wednesday, June 19 that the poet helped tell an American story of continuity and disruption, “reckoning and myth-making.” Harjo’s one-year term begins this fall. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

NEW YORK (AP) — Joy Harjo has been named the country’s next poet laureate, becoming the first Native American to hold that position.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced Harjo’s appointment, saying in a statement Wednesday that the poet helped tell an American story of continuity and disruption, “reckoning and myth-making.” Harjo’s one-year term begins this fall. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms.

Harjo, 68, is known for such collections as “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” and “In Mad Love and War.” Her previous honors include the PEN Open Book Award and the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement.

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