On October 1, the Big Read events for the November 2021 programming went live. Check out the events on our website! 

Our kick-off speaker this November is Joy Harjo, the current poet laureate and author of several memoirs and poetry collections. Harjo will join the lakeshore community on October 25 in Dimnent Chapel with a virtual option for viewers. 

What exactly is a Poet Laureate? 

The Poet Laureate serves as a consultant to the Library of Congress. This position continues to develop the poetry collections in the Library of Congress, organizes poetry events, and fosters an appreciation for reading and writing in the nation. 

Poet Laureate Fun Facts: 

  1. There have been 16 male poet laureates and 7 female poet laureates. 
  2. The Librarian of Congress appoints the new poet laureate with the help of the past poet laureates, poetry critics, and staff at the Library of Congress. 
  3. The poet laureate generally serves two terms. Two poet laureates have served three terms: Robert Pinskey during the Library of Congress’s Bicentennial and Joy Harjo. 

Joy Harjo as Poet Laureate: 

About - Joy Harjo
Picture from Joy Harjo’s official website: https://www.joyharjo.com/about.

Joy Harjo has served for three terms as the poet laureate because she is developing a project called “Living Nations, Living Words.” This collection contains audio files from 47 contemporary Native American poets reading and discussing their poems. 

Harjo describes her project on the Library of Congress website stating, “As the first Native U.S. Poet Laureate, I decided that my signature project should introduce the country to the many Native poets who live in these lands. Our communities innately shared and share poetry from before the founding of the United States to the present.” 

Stayed tuned for more posts about our 2021 programming! Comment below and tell us what events most excite you!  

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