Joy Harjo Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 07 Mar, 2021
Facts of Joy Harjo
Date of Birth: 1951 , May-9
Age: 69 years old
Birth Nation: United States of America
Name Joy Harjo
Birth Name Joy Foster
Father Allen W. Foster
Mother Wynema Baker Foster
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Profession Poet, Musician, Playwright, Author
Children 2
Education University of New Mexico, University of Iowa
Awards Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
Music Group Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice
Books I Give You Back, When the World As We Knew It Ended, The Last Song, Puerto Del Sol, What Moon Drove Me to This?, Remember, Secrets from the Center of the World, In Mad Love and War, A Map to the Next World
Albums Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century, Native Joy for Real, She Had Some Horses, Winding Through the Milky Way, Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears
View more / View Less Facts of Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author who is currently serving her third term as the United States Poet Laureate. 

How Old Is Joy Harjo? Who Are Her Parents? 

Joy Harjo was born Joy Foster on May 9, 1951, the oldest of four children to father Allen W. Foster, of Muskogee descent, and mother Wynema Baker Foster, of Cherokee, French, and Irish descent. The now-69-year-old adopted the surname "Harjo" upon becoming a member of the Muscogee Nation.    

She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and was a pre-med student at Albuquerque's University of New Mexico. She changed her major to art in her sophomore year and to creative writing in her final year, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa in 1978. 

What Is Joy Harjo Known For? 

Joy Harjo had been fascinated with her ancestors' culture, the Native-American culture since she was a child. She has published over a dozen poetry collections, including I Give You Back, When the World As We Knew It Ended, The Last Song, Puerto Del Sol, What Moon Drove Me to This?, Remember, Secrets from the Center of the World, In Mad Love and War, and A Map to the Next World.  

Joy Harjo with her best-selling 2019 book, An American Sunrise SOURCE: Bennington College

Additionally, she has also dabbled in non-fiction writings like 2011's Soul Talk, Song Language: Conversations with Joy Harjo, and her 2012 memoir Crazy Brave: A Memoir, as well as two children's books, namely 2000's The Good Luck Cat and 2009's For a Girl Becoming

As a musician, Joy has released five solo studio albums and one studio album with her band, Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice. She was also part of the music group, Arrow Dynamics.  

Besides that, Harjo is also an educator and has taught at such institutions as the Institute of American Indian Arts, Arizona State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Arizona, and the University of New Mexico. She has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2013 and since 2016, has served at the University of Tennessee's Department of English.    

Joy Harjo plays saxophone for Poetic Justice SOURCE: National Endowment for the Arts

Since 2019, Harjo has been serving as the United States Poet Laureate, only the second poet in history to serve three terms. She is also the first Native-American poet to be bestowed that honor.        

Is Joy Harjo Married? Does She Have Children?

Joy Harjo is a mother to two children: son Phil Dayn and daughter Rainy Dawn. Rainy Dawn's father is the Native-American poet Simon Ortiz, of the Acoma Pueblo tribe. 

How Much is Joy Harjo Worth in 2021?

While her exact net worth is not yet determined, some sources claim that Joy Harjo has an estimated net worth of as much as $1 million as of March 2021.  

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