BIOGRAPHY

Poet Warrior

Norton. Sept. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780393248524. $25. MEMOIR
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Three-term U.S. poet laureate Harjo (An American Sunrise) gives readers an in-depth look at her life and her poetry, and what poetry brought to her and to others. In this memoir combining narrative prose and poetry, Harjo recounts her upbringing in a Muscogee (Creek) Nation family and the trials she faced navigating the world. She also tries to understand how the earth has changed throughout the centuries and what its inhabitants must do to heal it. Harjo wisely advises readers to put down technological devices and connect with the earth on a deeper level. She maintains that individuals can become content by listening to animals, which provide friendship and sustenance, and to plants, which provide healing power. The memoir jumps around through time and place; this could be Harjo’s way of pointing out that our lives and realizations about the earth do not have to be linear. Rather, she effectively shows how fluid a life can be.
VERDICT This poignant read offers a lot of food for thought. Highly recommended for any library, especially for memoir collections.
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