Joy Harjo has been named the 23rd poet laureate of the United States. She’s the first Native American, and probably the best saxophonist, to ever hold the honor.
Harjo’s footprints are all over New Mexico. A native of Oklahoma, she was just 16 when she came to Santa Fe to study at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She told NPR that when she arrived in the late ’60s, the IAIA was a Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
“And in one of my classrooms, we still had the stoves that were used the generation before to teach female students apartment living so they could clean for people in town,” she told NPR recently.