A musical, magical, resilient volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.
In these poems, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Beginning in a hotel room in the dark of a distant city, we travel through history and follow the memory of the Trail of Tears from the bend in the Tallapoosa River to a place near the Arkansas River. Stomp dance songs, blues, and jazz ballads echo throughout. Lost ancestors are recalled. Resilient songs are born, even as they grieve the loss of their country. Called a "magician and a master" (San Francisco Chronicle), Joy Harjo is at the top of her form in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.
Finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize
About the Author
Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently An American Sunrise, and one previous memoir, Crazy Brave. She edited the anthologies When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through and Living Nations, Living Words. Named poet laureate of the United States in 2019, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.
When Harjo confronts tragedy, she becomes our conscience.
— Grace Cavalieri - Washington Independent Review of Books
This is not merely a book of poetry. These are instructions for the soul, a song to lead the reader home…[Harjo is] the first lady of American Indian poetry.
— World Literature Today
Joy Harjo’s Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings is a marvelous instrument that veins through a dark lode of American history. The poet’s finely tuned voice goes where ‘Midnight is a horn player,’ driven by tribute, prayer, and blues, excavating names, places, and dreams. And at the end of this epic voyage the reader surfaces at sunrise.
— Yusef Komunyakaa
[Joy Harjo’s] poetry is light and elixir, the very best prescription for us in wounded times.
— Sandra Cisneros - The Millions
Harjo masterfully helps us travel through landscape and it’s hard not to feel such loss but also a glimmer of hope as these poems brace against what it means to listen to the land and to each other.
— Aimee Nezhukumatathil - Literary Hub