Everyday I get closer to beauty.
Everyday I get closer to truth.

(from chorus of a new song: Breakup, Breakdown)

Image and lyric c Joy Harjo Mekko Productions Inc 2010

Breaking Stones, some notes for a play

Yesterday I was in a prison quarry, breaking stones.

It was the quarry inside.

I had a talkative lunch, walked a few miles, photographed and found startling images that may turn into some large pieces. Watched some stand up comedy--all this with a beautiful illusion, a man with a beating heart, shining eyes, kindness, and a muscular, kinetic presence.

Because I am in the thinking/dreaming/inventing phase of my next play, I Think I Love You, An All Night Round Dance, about romantic love, I keep scanning people in restaurants, cars, airports, to notice the shape of romantic love in their consciousness. You can see it in the body, where it lives and how it works. Some have dismissed it. Others are in the throes of it. Some are nearly broken.

Then there I was, in it, I had become my own experiment. I had built a love story. I was the only one in it. I had to break the stones of illusion so that I would not linger there. And as I walked through the day I continued to lift the hammer and break stones. I continued to break stones way past sundown.

This morning the stones are broken. There is only sunrise.


More UNM Trouble

UNM appealed the Board of New Mexico's Workforce Solution decision. The board decided in my favor. They backed me up in my difficult decision to quit UNM because of an untenable workplace situation in which I could not protect my students.

Now I may have to go to court. Now I may have to pay back $12,000 because of my decision.

As they say in Hawai'i, this is "junk".

Note: This is Still My Blog

I have a another, a joint blog with Tashi Grady Powers, an amazing astrologer. Hence, the two names. Will probably move the other blog.



Computer Hell

Everyone with a computer knows this place. Your computer is fine when you log off. You log back off and suddenly there's nothing on the screen, or there's blinking, or, or....

Yesterday my main computer, everything began running excruciatingly slow. The night before it had been zippy, responsive. So, I go to my little travel laptop. I get the message "hard disk full, make more space". So I get rid of my whole iPhoto library, add tons of space. Still, within a few hours of using the computer, all the GB's that had show have dwindled to nothing. I get the same message again. There's a leak of GB's somewhere.

The Apple Store certifies both computers as fine. I'm told that the laptop just does that---
No, it doesn't. There's a RAM leak.

Right now I am on an online chat with a MobileMe tech because my iCalendar on which is listed all of my dates, appointments for the next two years is suddenly strange. Events are doubled, quadrupled. My whole to do list has disappeared.

In the skies Mars and Mercury are hanging out together. Mars energizes Mercury. Mercury rules computers. And around this time Mercury's about to go into what's called a "shadow" period. Steps back awhile for introspection. We have to double check and redo anything Mercurial. So I've been on the phone to the Motor Vehicle Department, etc etc. It hits some worse than others. Depends on your energy.

This is a bad one. I need a Mercury Whisperer.


November 1 – 3 Noon-11 pm

413 D Street, Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 274.2599

Watch ANHC’s website (www.alaskanative.net) for an announcement of reading times and details. Admission is free.

The first three days of November, the Alaska Native Heritage Center will celebrate a landmark in Native Theatre, when it presents to the public ten new plays written by Alaska Native playwrights. These plays developed during the inaugural year of ANHC’s Alaska Native Playwrights Project will receive their first staged readings at Cyrano’s Playhouse, November 1, 2 and 3, 2010. Each reading will be followed by a discussion, led by project staff and invited guests.

The goal of the project, is to “identify fifteen new Alaska Native playwrights (ten adults and five youth) who wish to tell stories as plays. They are provided mentors who are noted professional North American Native theater artists.

Writers received instruction on the fundamentals of writing for the stage from Native theatre professionals (playwrights, dramaturges, directors) from across the country including: Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek). For the next seven months, the playwrights were guided by these Teaching Artists through the process of writing a one-act or full-length play on a subject of their own choice.


Hearing Voices

A few days ago, in the thick of obligation I realized that I was being led by an inner voice that is harsh, a task maker and unforgiving. I had to tell that voice to go--it had helped me through stacks of work, but there are other ways. I invited another voice in--one who is compassionate, kind, funny and doesn't take everything so seriously. It allows flow--Mvto to the wise teacher who lives in all of us.


For A Girl Becoming Wins Moonbeam Children's Book Award!

I'm happy to announce that

For a Girl Becoming earned a Silver Medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Award in the Multicultural Picture Book category.

BUY a copy

The Moonbeam Awards, sponsored by the Independent Publishers Association, are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to celebrate children's books and life-long reading. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. This year's awards attracted more than 800 entries. Medals were awarded to a diverse group of authors, illustrators, and publishers from 34 U.S. states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 2 countries overseas. Many of the award-winning books encourage children to be generous and compassionate, to stand up to bullies, and to believe in fulfilling their dreams. The diversity of the winning publishers proves that promoting childhood literacy knows no boundaries.

For more information and to see a complete list of winners, visit http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1386


Joy Harjo & Larry Mitchell perform as part of the 3rd Annual Maxwell Silver Hammer Reading

Thursday, October 21
7 -10 pm

The 3rd Annual Maxwell Silver Hammer Reading
Joy Harjo & Larry Mitchell perform songs from her latest CD— Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears
Hear the music

Free and Open to the Public
Reception and Book Signing to Follow

Location: Fort Lewis College Ballroom/Sun 212 Ballroom
Fort Lewis College: 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301
*For more information: uschuk_p@fortlewis.edu

Sponsored by the Maxwell Silver Fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Southwest Writers Institute, Fort Lewis College English Department, and Cutthroat Journal of the Arts


Fundraising for New Play

I'm on the last push to raise the final $1695 to meet my goal for funds for my upcoming project, I THINK I LOVE YOU, AN ALL NIGHT ROUND DANCE. If I don't raise the whole amount I will not receive any of the approximately $8000 I've raised so far. Please help. And thanks to all who have assisted!! We're going to have a good time as this moves forward. You can also send checks. See my Website for more information http://www.joyharjo.com/TheaterFilm.html

and Donate at: http://projectsite.unitedstatesartists.org/project/i_think_i_love_you_an_all_night_round_dance

ChazSkins http://www.chazskins.com has donated a beautiful hand crafted leather coat to raise funds for the new play. There is video of photos on YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/mekkopoet#p/a/u/0/cIkjTza3AA0

You can bid on this coat on EBAY:



Beautiful Leather Jacket being Auctioned by ChazSkinz for support of my project: I Think I Love You, An All Night Round Dance

As you might have heard, I am raising funds to create a new original musical play called I THINK I LOVE YOU, AN ALL NIGHT ROUND DANCE. The money raised now through October 10 will help fund the first draft of this play including three original tunes, sessions with premier dramaturge Shirley Fishman, and a reading of the first draft of the play at the Public Theater in New York City.

ChazSkins has donated this coat to raise funds for the new play.
There is video of photos on YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/mekkopoet#p/a/u/0/cIkjTza3AA0

Bid on this coat on EBAY

I could really use your support. Our deadline is October 10.

Find out more at http://www.joyharjo.com/TheaterFilm.html

Find out more about the play and make a tax-deductible donation at http://tiny.cc/tp7gm. This is an important story to tell. I hope you can help me make it a reality.

About This Custom Designed Leather Hand Cut & Crafted

for Joy Harjo

Analine Leather Slang Jacket
sz 6/8
Tsalagi Design Hand Loomed Beadwork on Cuff & Collar
Traditional Hand Loomed Shoulders w Contemporary Design
American Indian Wars Cuff Buttons
Bison Horn Star "Wax Method" Buttons Down Heart Sleeve
Featured (worn) by the Artist on Joy Harjo's New Album

RED DREAMS, A Trail Beyond Tears
(an autographed copy of the CD is included with the jacket)


Joy Harjo presents: “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light”

Thursday, September 23, 2010
7:00 — 9:00 pm

Aaronson Auditorium
Central Library, 400 Civic Center, Tulsa, AZ 74103
*Fourth Street and Denver Ave.
FREE/Open to the public
*Download Poster

Joy Harjo, accompanied by Grammy Award winning producer, engineer and guitarist, Larry Mitchell, will present this deeply compelling work of struggle, displacement, self-discovery, and healing. Invoking spoken word, storytelling and song, Harjo combines character-driven narratives with tales inspired by the traditions of her people—and takes a few turns blowing a mean jazz saxophone. An allegorical work of tremendous power, “Wings” demonstrates how theater and art can bring life full circle.
Book signing immediately after the program.

The Chronicle of Higher Education Story:UNM Professor/Dominatrix Scandal

This story by Peter Schmidt details some of the UNM creative writing program story. I resigned my position over it last year and was awarded unemployment based on the untenable workplace situation. UNM appealed my unemployment and strangely "won", despite nearly seven hours of testimony stretched in a process that went on over six months on my behalf from co-workers, and students who had been approached by the professor to work in the sex trade. In the decision by the presiding judge, none of the testimony or exhibits, including photos backing up my claim, were not taken into consideration. UNM had one witness. UNM said I didn't deserve unemployment benefits because I quit my job.

I appealed again and Wednesday September 15th my case was supposed to have been heard by a panel. I got a letter that same day saying that the decision was final and I have to pay back $11,000 in unemployment benefits with a bill attached. Either the letter is wrong, or the process was overridden. There appears to have been an interference in the process from the appeal. This is a small state and UNM is one of the biggest employers, so it has clout. Mine isn't the only story. There are others that are similar.

Excerpt from "Crazy Brave" (working title)

In the midst of fundraising I am writing daily to finish a memoir by the end of the month---here's an excerpt.

Soul Music

(excerpt from CRAZY BRAVE, LOOKING FOR A VISION, c Joy Harjo 2010)

I was following Sandra Cisneros and her mother through their house in Chicago, making introductions, when I heard my soul singing.

“What are you doing there, soul, I asked?” I felt naked and blown open without my soul fastened in its usual, hidden and dark place.

I heard Sandra’s brothers talking behind closed doors of their rooms. It was Saturday morning. They were supposed to be cleaning. I heard the traffic and the city. I heard everything as if it were singing. And above them and over and through all of us, weaving the song together, I heard my soul, a saxophone.

Who is that singer of my soul? I wanted to ask. Instead, I asked, “Who’s that on saxophone?”

“It’s my brothers’ music”, said Sandra. “It’s Gato Barbieri.”

I had wanted to play saxophone since junior high school. I loved the sultry sound and longing of the sax. It is in adolescence you begin to come into full consciousness of your sensual being.

I’d played clarinet in elementary school, one hour a week for a few years. I used the same couple of reeds and labored with the rest of the small group of students who played either clarinet, flute or trumpet without enough practice and with lots of squeaking, missed notes, and inattention to the beat. What kept me going was that perfect song I kept hearing, just beyond the field of knowing. I felt moments of it, as my breath attempted to make the clarinet into a living being.

At the beginning of my first junior high semester when the band teacher asked for students to play alto sax, my hand shot up. Girls can’t play sax, he explained as he choose boys to be players. I gave up then on saxophone. I walked away from music. And then I met Gato and his sax in Sandra’s house in the late seventies.

Gato and I make a circle with our spirits. I tell Gato and his saxophone that I have escaped from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop for the weekend. I tell him I feel lost without mountains, desert and the memory of white birds. I confide in him the longing I am afraid to name. I tell him I write poetry to leave tracks so that love can find me. I tell him that poetry is lonely without the music. I want to tell him and his saxophone everything, the way you do when you meet a lover who is going to open up all the doors in your heart. You compare stories. No, you intertwine them so they can grow together for a while.

And then I argue with myself. You cannot say everything, what will he think of you? Besides, to speak everything is to exhaust mystery.

Or is it? Can everything ever be spoken? Or are some things better spoken without words?

Whenever a saxophone begins to sing in a story it signals the door opening to romance. Soon there will be lovemaking. We will see a blur of bodies caught in an urge to experience the joy of creation of joy. For a time we will no longer move about so lonely here, far away from the house of the sun, moon and stars.

Gato listens with his horn perched on his lap. Like most men, he keeps his thoughts to himself when it comes to women and love. And he’s Argentine. He loves women ferociously. And he’s a horn player. He hears melody in longing. He hears how the rhythm of the heart plays against the rhythm of traffic in a northern city on a Saturday afternoon. He feels the fire at the center of the earth.

One time I was making love, I wanted to tell him, and I forgot myself and gave in to the music. I saw cities full of lovers and how though the earth held them close with gravity, they became birds, flying together above the city, their jobs, their bills, the why-aren’t-you’s and the “you-should’s”, into openings in the sky that only two people can open together.

“Ah, but what about the earth and how we move about the earth”, he sang with his horn? And he broke my heart with his longing.

It was some years before I picked up a horn and blew spirit into it.

The first horn I played was a King Super tenor saxophone. My then lover, a horn player wrote out the G blues scale for me and I began there, in the heartache of the Americas. In that scale are ships from Africa and Europe. In it are my people dancing in a widening spiral beneath circles of star nebula, giving birth to the swing. I walked up and down the scale, past babies crying in the night for milk, lovers waking in the dawn for more.

I left that relationship, that apartment, that city and kept going with my horn and with the bottom line of that gee blues.

I still talk with Gato whenever I pick up my horn. He’s older, and wiser in the way that we all become wiser when we lose what we love and learn to keep going.

“One way to look at it”, he told me one day as I sawed through scales to make muscle for flying, “is we are all lost, we were already lost the day we were born. In music, we can become tragically and beautifully lost, and found again.”

I thought of all the doors that had opened and closed. I thought of how Sandra’s mother and father were no longer on this earth. I thought of all of my mother’s songs looking for a place to live, I thought of all the Saturdays in the world and how terrified I am of opening my heart again. I started with “G”, and rounded the bend at B flat. I followed my soul.


Reward Levels for U.S. Artist Donations for Harjo's Project: I Think I Love You, An All Night Round Dance


I've upped the rewards. They're retroactive for those who donated before this announcement. Please consider donating. It's tax-deductible. And you'll be supporting several artists as this develops: the writer, musicians, recording engineer, actors, and so on.



Support of $25.00 unlimited

CD of your choice and Bi-weekly blog updates beginning October 2010

Support of $50.00

Limited to 25 / 11 Available

Above, plus an electronic download copy of my first play "Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light"

Support of $75

Above, plus a CD copy of the song demo.

Support of $100

Limited to 25/16 available

Above, plus a signed copy of one scene of the play

Support of $500

All of the above plus a signed copy of the first draft of the play

And a complete set of Harjo CD’s.

Support of $1000

All of the above plus a private reading of the play.

Support of $2000

All of the above plus a collection of all books and CD’s, signed.


I have 28 Days to raise $7,573.

Okay, here I am. In person.
As you can see, I'm in the middle of raising money to write my new play and create music for it.
United States Artists has set up a site for me to fundraise.
I have 28 days to raise the balance of $7,573.00
There are gifts at different levels, AND I will let you into my gigs for free (not just the free ones!!), AND will put you on a list of the I Think I Love You, An All Night Round Dance Circle that will be included in the handout for every play. There are other levels of gifts. See the site.
The monies from the coat donated by leather artist Chaz will be donated to the project. Mvto, Chaz!
Please click on link for more info.
You can donate directly to the site or via check.

(Please send any checks to: United States Artists, 5757 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 580, LA, CA 90036. Include a note that states you wish it to go to my project (by name). You will get a letter of confirmation and tax deduction info. Mvto. Thanks!)

Thanks for your help, and please pass on.


Auctioning off custom leather coat to raise $ for a new Play by Joy Harjo

A video of the beautiful custom leather coat ChazSkins has donated to help fund MY new play is up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/mekkopoet#p/a/u/0/cIkjTza3AA0 -- please take a look and share with anyone who might be interested in bidding on it. I am raising funds to create a new Play called I THINK I LOVE YOU, AN ALL NIGHT ROUND DANCE. The coat is up on EBAY http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200519349407

Since the Ebay auctions only go for a week. The link to the listing for the coat will change weekly up until the Oct 10 deadline.

I could really use your support. Find out more about the play and make a tax-deductible donation at http://tiny.cc/tp7gm. This is an important story to tell. I hope you can help me make it a reality.


Help Bring Joy's New Play Into Being

We've raised $1,827 towards the goal of $9,500. We need to raise $7,673 more. Every little bit helps. Your contribution will help pay for the research, the writing of the script, the writing of 3 original songs, meetings with Shirley Fishman, and a reading of the first draft of the play at the Public Theater in New York City. More about the project: http://tiny.cc/tp7gm and http://www.joyharjo.com/TheaterFilm.html



Make a tax-deductible donation: http://tiny.cc/tp7gm

Purchase or Bid on the jacket worn by Joy Harjo on her New CD, RED DREAMS, A Trail Beyond Tears (see photo on this page).

We are auctioning it off on Ebay to raise money for the Play: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200515718937&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

*More photos here: http://www.joyharjo.com/TheaterFilm.html

Custom Designed Leather Hand Cut & Crafted by ChazSkinz
Analine Leather Slang Jacket, Tsalagi Design Hand Loomed Beadwork on Cuff & Collar, Traditional Hand Loomed Shoulders w Contemporary Design, American Indian Wars Cuff Buttons, Bison Horn Star "Wax Method" Buttons Down Heart Sleeve. Includes an autographed copy of the CD.

*Thanks to everyone who has contributed!


Raising Funds for a New Play

I am looking for funds to complete a first draft of an original musical play (I THINK I LOVE YOU, An All Night Round Dance), including three original tunes, and sessions with premier dramaturge Shirley Fishman. These funds will also go toward a reading/performance at the Public Theater in New York.

I need to raise $9,500 by October 11. Please go http://tiny.cc/tp7gm to donate to the project and help us make this play.

A ONE-OF-A-KIND CUSTOM DESIGNED LEATHER COAT has been donated by http://www.chazskinz.com to be auctioned off to raise funds for I THINK I LOVE YOU, An All Night Round Dance.

This is a Hand Cut & Constructed ¾ Leather Slang Coat, Burnt Sienna Aniline (the best of the industrial dyes and dye process) & Golden Veg Tan Goat Skin, Design & Hand Loom Beadwork done exclusively for Joy Harjo, African Bison Horn Star Buttons, Hidden side pockets w/cell phone & “extras” inside pockets. *Will include a signed copy of Red Dreams, Joy Harjo's latest CD release. THIS WILL BE UP ON EBAY TODAY WITH A RESERVE PRICE OF $2,500 + SHIPPING.

More information and photos: http://www.joyharjo.com/TheaterFilm.html


Harjo on Air next Week

Through the Eyes of Women with Joy Harjo will air on KHSU, Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 1:30 pm and will be archived on khsu.org for the following two weeks.

KIDE will air the program on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 9:30 and 5:30.

Beth Rogers
Executive Producer
Through the Eyes of Women
707 407-5355


Note to Serbian Translator

Marja, You can reach me via my website.


I'm writing to introduce you to my new project: I Think I Love You, An All Night Round Dance. I am excited about this project because it pulls together theater, music and dance in an innovative manner. I am inspired by Greek theater, a stomp dance/funk musical meld, and want to explore romantic love against the backdrop of indigenous freedom movements.

I want to start work on this new piece of indigenous musical theater this fall, but I need your help.

To learn more about the project and how you can be a part of it please click on the link.


I am excited to be part of this new project site by United States Artists to assist artists in funding for their projects.

Thank you for taking a look.



Roots and Rhythm Festival Aug. 19

Joy Harjo & The Arrow Dynamics

August 19, 2010

9-10 pm


in The Blue Tower Lounge

Part of The Native American & Indigenous Performing Arts Festival at the beautiful Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino!



FREE/4 Days/20 + Performing Artists

More Information:




Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino
30 Buffalo Thunder Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87506

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is conveniently located just 15 minutes north of the Santa Fe Plaza, 60 minutes south of Taos, and 75 minutes north of Albuquerque. Just take exit #177, Buffalo Thunder Road off highway 84/285.

The spirit of a play is bothering me. This spirit has been sending me songs, scenes, and characters and I can hardly wait to see where it will take me.

I THINK I LOVE YOU, An All Night Round Dance


I am looking for funds to complete a first draft of an original musical play, including three original tunes, and sessions with premier dramaturge Shirley Fishman. She’s been called the “heart and soul” of La Jolla Playhouse. She was the heart and soul assisting me with my first production, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light. These funds will also go toward a reading/performance at the Public Theater in New York.

Al Green sings, “Love will make you do right, love will make you do wrong. Love will make you stay out all night long.” It is love that motivates us, makes this circle called Earth go round and round. This holds true with a circle of friends who came together during Indian school, at the height of indigenous freedom movements and now come together for an all night wake for their friend who has died at the hand of her lover, in a double suicide. Many stories emerge, collide, provoke, and reveal the intimate interconnections and secretsthat haunt the wake party. The music interweaving the tale is original funky, tribal, rock, stomp dance mix. A chorus of ex-lovers who are part of the band will also tell what can’t be told, in the manner of a Greek chorus.


Your Chance....

I am in the middle of my "memoir", which is basically moments of transformation--
is there anything you want to know or may want me to address?


MNN Column for June 2010

Living in hotels and the city is getting to me. Last night I stayed at the home of my music producer, Larry Mitchell, because we went late in the music studio. He and his wife rent a home out in the hills west of Santa Fe. I went out into the morning on the back patio, to the realm of the sun, earth, birds, lizards, and pinon and cedar trees. I heard: quiet. And in the quiet you can hear your heart, the earth’s heart, the sun’s heart, and the sound of the direction of your life as it merges with the whole of life. I learned as much out there this morning as I can in a book, or a whole library of books. I saw and heard what I needed to know as I headed back into the other part of the story.

These days it’s a tough story. The results of our desecration are all around us. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are being choked by oil greed. We are literally the Earth’s body, so we humans are intimately feeling and knowing the effects of these Earth changes. Storms are many times stronger, as are the winds. A few weeks ago in New York City, as I came out of the National Museum of the American Indian, after being part of a native playwrights panel, the winds were so strong they lifted me up and pushed me against the Battery Park fence. They were relentless and powerful. I dreamed about them several years ago: how the winds would move like a tsunami over Earth, to remake the Earth. So it’s no wonder that many among us are developing cancers, strokes, heart, various body failures and emotional challenge and breakdown. We are the Earth.

This country is in a downturn of the cycle. It’s an important part of the story, but difficult to weather if we don’t keep the perspective of eternity. That’s how the wisest always position their perspective. It’s like looking from the Moon, or from past the point of your departure from this place, or with seven generations in mind. We have to keep moving with grace, strength and humor and know that our native ways are what are going to help us make it through the destruction. You watch, the same people who are championing English only, immigration fences, and the dissolution of our tribal nations will be coming to us to know how to live. We have to be ready.

So, this morning, I call my mother, who lives in Tulsa, to see how she’s doing. It turns out that my brother, who loves to gamble at casinos with his Choctaw wife, has given my mother a new reason to continue her forays to the Cherokee and Creek casinos. He reminded her that she gets lots of exercise walking around the casino. Now she has a new reason to go, much to the dismay of my sister who is on a constant campaign to keep my mother from spending down her money on the machines.

Last month I gave a performance of a new show at the New Mexico Jazz Workshop: “We Were There When Jazz Was Invented”. The highlight for me was stomp dancing with Gary White Deer, Valerie Harjo and Willie George as part of the show, to prove that our tribal people were part of the origins of the American musical forms of blues, jazz and rock. When you hear all the music together, there is no doubt our Mvskoke culture was left out of the equation. Everyone loved Gary’s troupe’s performance, and my spirit was happy hanging out and getting to know Gary, Valerie and Willie better. Being with them reminded me: I need to go home.

Yes, I need to go home.

Catch up, RED DREAMS Offer, and Here we go--

I haven't written on the blog for awhile. I've gone over to Facebook. FB feels responsive, live and quick--a wiley creature.
This morning, though I've decided I will keep this up--make some links.

I'm in the middle of writing a "memoir" with a deadline of the end of this month. So that's where I'm focused. And if you stay tuned I might post some excerpts.

I just released a new CD of music: RED DREAMS, A TRAIL BEYOND TEARS. It the album I produced to acknowledge traditional music.

AND I will make the same offer here that I made on Facebook:

Until August 17th, if you buy my new CD of instrumental flute music RED DREAMS, A TRAIL BEYOND TEARS from my website, using Paypal, directly from me, I will give you a copy of either the classic Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century or Native Joy for Real.

Only ten days left on the offer. I also made the offer that if you get me an interview, a review or distribution I will send you a free CD. And, if you turn me onto a gig that works out, I will give you a complete set of my music CD's. I have gotten some great responses.

See you.


Roots and Rhythms Festival


Joy Harjo & The Arrow Dynamics
*Actual time and date To Be Announced

August 19-22 2010

20 + Performing Artists

4 Days


Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino proudly presents
the prestigious
Native American & Indigenous Performing Arts Festival
the 15th Annual Roots & Rhythms on August 19, 20, 21, 22, 2010!

At the beautiful Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino!

More Information

Roots and Rhythms Festival

Emergence Productions

Location: Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is conveniently located just 15 minutes north of the Santa Fe Plaza, 60 minutes south of Taos,
and 75 minutes north of Albuquerque. Just take exit #177, Buffalo Thunder Road off highway 84/285.

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino

30 Buffalo Thunder Trail Santa Fe, NM 87506

877.THUNDER (877.848.6337)


Muskogee Nation News Column April 2010

It is supposed to be spring. It’s trying to be spring. I wake up this morning to freezing temperatures, and it’s almost April in New Mexico. I remember Oklahoma springs in childhood. I felt like a small plant and knew myself as part of the earth. I’d get up before anyone else. I liked smell of the medicine of plants, and felt the snakes, earthworms, horned toads sliding and walking about, including the mole who lived in the yard moving through the earth. In those times, robins came only in the spring. Our backyard was full of poison ivy. We had to be careful, especially our sister. She was highly allergic to it. Mostly it didn’t bother me. The front was carpeted in clover patches and dandelions. I knew these plants intimately and practically lived in them in the spring and summer. I knew June bugs, roly-poly bugs, and played with them.

I liked getting up when the sun got up. The breaking of dawn was my time to just be, without the worry or pressure of any family drama. I liked being with thoughts that were fed by the sun, by the trees, plants and the creatures. I usually had a dog. They always followed me home. When I was five, I had a dog I named “Alligator”. I’ve always had a fondness for alligators, some kind of connection I don’t totally understand. It isn’t my clan. My clan through my father is Katcv, or Tiger clan. I don’t know my mother’s Cherokee clan, even though her mother was raised Cherokee near Moody, Oklahoma.

I knew the bees and played with them as freely as I played with the garter snakes, horned toads, and the other creatures. I’d play house. I’d catch the bees, hold them in my hands, and set them where I wanted them. They didn’t mind me handling them as long as they could get on with their business. They had a tender mind toward me as a young one.

One day I was out playing in the late morning. My mother and her friends were sitting out on the porch, drinking iced tea, smoking cigarettes and telling stories. Usually the stories ran along the lines of who came home and who didn’t come home, and all the drama going on among them and their families. My mother was also writing songs at that time. She was still at home and didn’t have to work yet. Her best friend was another Cherokee woman who lived across the street. I liked hearing them talk, their presence there. I adored my mother. She was beautiful, dynamic, and loved to sing.

As they talked I continued my play in the clover. I caught bees as I often did and played with them. My mother and her friend saw me. I can still see my mother’s concerned expression and hear her alarmed voice, “You’ll get stung!” It was then the bee stung me. I felt betrayed and confused by the situation. I didn’t pick up bees again for years.


I’m a bit road weary this morning. Just returned from Andover, Massachusetts and Huron, Ohio. What stands out about this trip is that in each place an indigenous person of those lands welcomed me. In Andover, Annawon Weeden, a beautiful, young Mashpee Wampanoag man sang a welcome before my show. In Huron, Bruce V. Molnar who is vice chairman of the Pokagan Band Gaming Commission a member of the Pokagan Nation came to my first event and welcomed me, in the Muscogee language! This made a huge difference in the energy of the transaction. A performance is not just the performer: it’s the audience, the performer, the original keepers of the land, the place, and what has happened and what is going on there.


And finally, my brother still doesn’t have his CDIB or his tribal citizenship card. My sister drove my brother to Oklahoma City to get the change on his birth certificate. Our father was a “Jr.”. It appears on one document and not the other. They learned to do so will require a court order. Nathan and the staff have been helpful. The bureaucracy is hell. I guess we’ve been fully colonized.


June: Concerts, Wings of Night Sky-Wings of Morning Light, and Workshops


June 5, 2010 8 pm

La Jolla Playhouse


Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre

Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light


Following its successful world premiere with Native Voices last year, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light returns for a special one-night engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse, starring the incomparable Joy Harjo, who is accompanied by Grammy Award-winning producer and guitarist Larry Mitchell.
*Find out more about the Play: http://www.joyharjo.com/Wings.html


Duende Poetry Series 2010 Special Event

June 13, 2010 3-5 pm

Anasazi Fields Winery

More Information

Featuring Joy Harjo on poetry, sax, flute, Larry Mitchell on guitar, synth pads, and John Rangel on keyboards. Free

Location: http://anasazifieldswinery.com/contact.htm



How Do News Stories Enter Our Knowing?

May 13, 2010 Albuquerque Thursday

What do I do with the story when I read: “Thai general shot in the head”? I read it, and where do I file it? Does it become another weight of despair pulling on my arm? I see a shower of blood, a flower of red death blooming as if there were sudden rain in the desert. I see two armies with bayonets drawn. I hear the grief of mothers and children, and see the stiff countenances of warriors who can know only war. What isn’t war will break them apart in tenderness beyond reason. I see the oil spill in the Gulf eating up water, creatures and shoreline. And then we are in the kitchen where a family wanders through the house with cokes and stumble to their solo stations at televisions, computers and a game. The sun is settling lonely into the West. But brightens at the sound of human voice singing a song for the end of the day, for the sun’s journey.


Joy Harjo Concerts and Readings April 2010

April 21
7 pm

Joy Harjo and Band
Jazz Deconstructed
A New Mexico Jazz Workshop Series
The Kosmos
1715 5th Street NW, Downtown Albuquerque,87110
Tickets $10 General, $8 Students/NMJW Members/Seniors
Buy your ticket online @ www.brownpapertickets.com
For more information call 505-255-9798.


April 23 at 7:30 pm

Global Education Center

National Poetry Month Celebration
Between the Earth and Sky
Exploring Native American Culture through the poetry of Joy Harjo
W.O. Nashville Community Music School
1125 8th Avenue South, Nashville TN 37203
Tickets: $10 advance purchase and $15 at the door.
Student and senior discounts available.


April 29

University of Hawaii
Soul-Talk: A Performance by Joy Harjo
Manoa Campus, UHM Art Auditorium
More Information — (808) 956-7619



I need this unreeling of heartache, and

the downtown turnaround.

--Over, and over and over.

When you gonna come back, baby?

--Over and over and over.

Why did you leave me?

The god of all things reached

Behind the counter, pulled up a sour dishrag and

Cleaned off the mess.

--We all went tumbling down.

I said, Over and over and over.

--We all went tumbling down

c Joy Harjo Denver April 7, 2010


Wilma Mankiller Left this World for the Next This Morning

No words.

She leaves a trail of blessings.

May she travel well.

And may we find a way to lift up our heads from our grief.

A note from the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation:

From: all-employees-bounces@lists.cherokee.org [mailto:all-employees-bounces@lists.cherokee.org] On Behalf Of Chad Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 11:13 AM
To: All Employees (mailing list)
Subject: [All-Employees] Wilma Mankiller

Dear Friends,

Our personal and national hearts are heavy with sorrow and sadness with the passing this morning of Wilma Mankiller, our former Principal Chief. We feel overwhelmed and lost when we realize she has left us but we should reflect on what legacy she leaves us. We are better people and a stronger tribal nation because her example of Cherokee leadership, statesmanship, humility, grace, determination and decisiveness. When we become disheartened, we will be inspired by remembering how Wilma proceeded undaunted through so many trials and tribulations. Years ago, she and her husband Charlie Soap showed the world what Cherokee people can do when given the chance, when they organized the self-help water line in the Bell community She said Cherokees in that community learned that it was their choice, their lives, their community and their future. Her gift to us is the lesson that our lives and future are for us to decide. We can carry on that Cherokee legacy by teaching our children that lesson. Please keep Charlie, Gina and Felicia in your prayers. Wilma asked that any gifts in her honor be made as donations to One Fire Development Corporation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing Native American communities though economic development, and to valuing the wisdom that exists within each of the diverse tribal communities around the world. Tax deductible donations can be made atwww.wilmamankiller.com as well as www.onefiredevelopment.org. The mailing address for One Fire Development Corporation is 1220 Southmore Houston, TX 77004. Details of her memorial service will be forthcoming.


Concert and Poetry Calendar: April 2010

April 10

AWP Denver CO
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs
2010 Annual Conference & Bookfair

9 am- 5:45 pm
S121. Somewhere Far from Habit: The Poet & the Artist's Book. 
An Exhibit Hosted by Creative Writing at Longwood University.
Colorado Convention Center/Street Level
700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Room 101
Phone: (303) 228-8000

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
S203. A Performance by Joy Harjo & Larry Mitchell
Poet and musician Joy Harjo performs with guitarist Larry Mitchell from her four award-winning CDs of original music.
Hyatt Regency Denver
650 15th Street, Denver, Colorado, USA 80202 Tel: +1 303 436 1234
Centennial Ballroom
3rd Floor

April 13 Women Poets at Barnard
7 pm
417 Barnard Hall/3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Sulzberger Parlor
(3rd floor, Barnard Hall)

April 15
Autry Museum of The American West
Griffith Park
Homelands: How Women Made The West Show
Opening Reception

6 - 9 pm
*Members opening
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462

T: 323.667.2000

More about the exhibit:
Museum of the American West at Griffith Park
April 16, 2010 - August 22, 2010
From ancient pueblos to modern suburbs, women have shaped the Western landscape through choices about how to sustain home, family, and community. Home Lands: How Women Made the West brings together women’s history, Western history, and environmental history to show how women have been at the heart of the Western enterprise across cultures and over time.

April 21 

Joy Harjo and Band
Jazz Deconstructed
A New Mexico Jazz Workshop Series
The Kosmos
1715 5th Street NW, Downtown Albuquerque,87110
Tickets $10 General, $8 Students/NMJW Members/Seniors
Buy your ticket online @ http://www.brownpapertickets.com
For more information call 505-255-9798.

April 23
Global Education Center
National Poetry Month Celebration
7:30 pm

Between the Earth and Sky
Exploring Native American Culture through the poetry of Joy Harjo.

W.O. Nashville Community Music School
1125 8th Avenue South, Nashville TN 37203
Tickets: $10 advance purchase and $15 at the door.
Student and senior discounts available.



MNN Column February 2010 (Please note: for now my columns are bi-monthly

This morning I’m in Anchorage, Alaska, and at 7:15AM it’s dark as night and will be until close to 9AM. I was invited up for the first Native Playwrights Festival at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The playwrights are from native villages around Alaska, and from here in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Some of us performed on Saturday, and the workweek began Saturday evening with meetings. We’ve been meeting every day from 8:30 to 5. Then we have work assignments at night. So I’m scrambling to get my column in (as usual!).

I first came up to Alaska in the early eighties to go to the jails and prisons and help prisoners with poetry. Rent-A-Wreck was the only car rental company that would rent without a credit card. And guess what kind of car they loaned me…a refurbished police car! It was just what I needed to drive up and gain confidence of the prisoners! I went to four different penal institutions in the Anchorage area, four, with a population half the size of Tulsa. One was a women’s prison. About ninety percent of the prisoners in the men’s units were native. Black men were next in population size, then the poor white guys who’d come up to work on the pipeline. Most were in primarily for being native, black and/or poor with no money for attorneys, and/or doing something stupid in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did not pick up malevolence, but neither was I placed in high security. I met the brother of a friend of mine, who is now a shaman. He’d been riding around with a party and got picked up. The women were mostly in for taking the rap for their boyfriends, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’ll never forget being led into a room of male prisoners by the jail keep at the Fourth Avenue jail, and hearing him say “I’ll be back in two hours” as he locked the door shut behind me. The prisoners were hungry to speak and sing. Most of them knew poems by heart. There were tears and laughter as they wrote and spoke. All of them responded to poetry because they needed a way to hear and speak their souls. They took to writing with a hungry fervor. I’m convinced that most waywardness is creativity turned backwards.

There's a young moose who has been roaming the grounds of the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Tourists who don't know moose think they're cute with the personality of deer. They are more dangerous than bears. Bears are predictable. Moose will charge, kick, and then dance on you, and not think about it. One woman's cousin just had her scalp pulled loose by a dancing moose. So we had to navigate the young one as we walked out to use the Inupiak village site for a classroom. (There are several kinds of traditional houses in the on-site village.)

My brother has been having a hard time getting his citizenship card. He used to have one. He was turned away because our father’s name had “Jr.” on one document, and not on the other. All the rest of us in the family have our cards. Even his son has his enrollment card. My brother needs the card for health care. He’s been having stroke tremors. But the receptionist kept telling me: “He’s not in our system.” We were here before there was a system. We have been Creek for thousands of years, before cards. I know my brother isn’t the only one who’s been having a problem. I'm afraid he might not live along to get his card.

And finally, don’t forget, be kind to all you meet along the way.


The Knowing

The knowing beyond the practical everyday mind is immense. We have poetry, music, all arts, to access, interact with it and translate it, to know who we are beyond the moment we have breath.


Times of Strange Weather

We are in times of strange weather and unpredictable earth events everywhere on beloved Earth. Because we are of the Earth’s body, we feel unsettled and strange. We are being challenged to grow our minds and spirits to encompass immense changes. We came here to gain understanding that will bring forth compassion. As human beings in a postcolonial world, we can no longer forget our part in the story.


Concert & Poetry Calendar: February and March

February 26

Vancouver Olympics

Aboriginal Pavilion

with Larry Mitchell



Theatre of the Soul

9:30 pm and 11 pm


West Georgia Street and Hamilton Street, Vancouver

March 13

Tucson Festival of Books

University of Arizona

University of Arizona Campus

Tucson AZ 85721


Solo Presentation / Sat 1:00 PM - 02:00 PM

March 23

Andover, MA

Merrimack College


11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Joy is a speaker.

Luncheon for the College Community

Limited seating for general public available contact mackenzieg@merrimack.edu

7 pm

Joy Harjo performs her one-woman play “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light” with Grammy award-winning musician Larry Mitchell

Tickets $10

Free for Merrimack college students, faculty, and staff

March 25
Huron, Ohio
Bowling Green State University Firelands Campus
7-9 pm
Cedar Point Center Auditorium at Bowling Green
One University Drive, Huron, Ohio 44839