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Bringing Traditional Themes Into Contemporary Writing

photo of joy harjo
Karen Kuehn

Critics call Joy Harjo “the first lady of American Indian poetry.” But Harjo is more than a poet. She is also an author, musician and playwright. She is a native of Oklahoma and a member of the Mvskoke (Muscogee) Nation.

Harjo has authored several books of poetry, the latest of which is “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W.W. Norton & Company/2015). A lot of her writing includes Native American stories and themes, using imagery bring together spiritual and physical realms. Host Frank Stasio talks to Harjo about her poetry, her creative process, and what inspires her. She will read from her latest collection and talk about what it means to be Native American in this political moment. Harjo will be reading at the Asheville Wordfest at the Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville Center on Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m.


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Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.