A Chat with an Artist: Joy Harjo – Episode 47

My wife Vickie requested that I chat with Joy Harjo right in the early days of the podcast. Joy is one of the people Vickie truly admires; a poet whose works are just as often abstract free prose as they are traditionally-formed poetry. Joy and her work have both been acclaimed for years, her first published collection hit the shelves in 1980.

Joy doesn’t define herself as a poet, though, nor a musician. She always grew up knowing that she would become an artist, and her quest to express the things beyond us all have led her not just to poetry and the saxophone, but to script writing, a memoir and travel around the world. Her work often addresses the disconnectedness and damage in all of us in these supposedly civilised times, and she draws much from her experiences as the blood of the Mvskoke native American nation, a people outside their country whilst still within their own country.

I chatted with Joy about her career as a poet and musician, the ups and downs of the Internet and the danger of others pigeonholing your work.

ALSO: Stay tuned after our chat for a quick update on… going weekly!

Chat-Only Version on YouTube

What’s your play?

When have you come up against someone else’s attempt to fit you into a category?

What things have you learned from the greater world around us, not just other people?

Joy Harjo

Official Site


The Woman Who Fell From The Sky

Crazy Brave – Joy’s memoir

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings

The Good Luck Cat

Jazz and Blues

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Blues Hall of Fame

General Links

International Outrigger Sprint Championships

Featured image by Melissa Lukenbaugh. Other photos provided by Joy Harjo.