March 10, 2012
This Land Is Your Land —
A Woody Guthrie Centennial
7:30 pm

Brady Theater
105 W Brady Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
Brady Theater Website

Joy Harjo Performs as well as
JOHN MELLENCAMP and ARLO GUTHRIE with Del McCoury Band with Tim O'Brien, Rosanne Cash, The Flaming Lips, Hanson, Jimmy LaFave and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Time, Time

I remember going into the jails and prisons in the late seventies, early eighties, to teach poetry. The jailer would unlock a room filled with prisoners, tell me they'd be back in an hour, two hours, or three, depending on the agreement with the arts organization. Most of the imprisoned knew poems by heart. We'd talk, write and speak poetry, laugh and cry. I was not with the most hardened of criminals. I came to understand that most were in there because they did not have the money to hire an attorney, or they were represented poorly because they did not have the best attorney. Most were native, black, "Hispanic"(Mexican-American) and poor Euro-American. Justice does not appear to be served in this instance.

This morning I wake up and look for justice. I feel the Storykeeper whose voice tells me: "Time, time." And I have come to know Time as a being with a soul. Why is it so slow when it comes to Justice here on Earth?



Sharon lost her case.
There were many factors.
UNM attorneys were able to maneuver and disallow very important parts of the story.
The story was broken into small misshapen pieces by the time it got to the jury.
I am sad with injustice.

But I believe there will be justice. Justice has its own time. The lie returns to claim the liar. The secret returns to reveal that which has been denied. Those who seek to hide the truth will be buried by it.
Love and compassion is the only path.
Take the warrior path. Walk tall and carefully through this world.
There will be justice, and justice has its own time.



Yesterday I testified in Warner's trial against UNM. My testimony was cut short because when asked why I left UNM and said "live sex show" the judge went furious. She called the counsel to the stand and disallowed any mention of it. That was the end of my testimony. After I testified I was allowed to stay in the courtroom for the rest of the day. Next was a student who had been harassed by the professor whose lying and abuse set this destruction in motion. She was brave. Then the former chair of the English Department, who had backed the abusive professor and was himself in the English Department because of sexual harassment in the Drama Department, testified. I had a visceral reaction in my body. We may settle accounts in our minds, but body knowledge also needs a doorway. The immensity of the loss for all of us washed through. I shook and sobbed quietly. He was caught in two lies on the stand, but the judge gave no warning about perjury. I saw the judge like an umpire, making calls. All the calls were in UNM's favor. The narrative of the story in the courtroom was broken, cut up by strategy and maneuvers. It was frustrating. Then the final witness of the day was L.C., the woman whose lies targeted Sharon Warner. She was the reason we were assembled that day, a waste of thousands of dollars of state and personal time and money. Her defense was to act like she didn't care, she didn't give a damn. She was not truthful. Sharon's attorney was able to reveal truths through questioning. When L.C. got up to leave at the end of her questioning, I stood up. I followed her out of the courtroom to confront her. I walked behind her four steps then stopped. I let her walk away. I felt sad, very sad. She was the shadow of the person I used to know. Her light was dimmed with her addiction. What damage we cause when we do not tend to the light within us. Please send prayers for everyone, including UNM who continues to stand on behalf of student abuse, against integrity.


Trial: Day two.

Thanks for the emails of support. Sharon was questioned yesterday and the questioning will resume today. I will stay in and prepare myself and I plan to stay at the trial the rest of the week. I am scheduled to testify tomorrow. The person who should be on trial is at the university teaching students. More so, it is those powers in the university and state government who continue to cover up the real story for the protection of those whose names have not been revealed.

Chris Garcia, a former UNM president was recently discovered to be running a prostitution ring out of his UNM office. There was a flash of stories when the story erupted, with a promise of more to come. The story has been hushed in New Mexico. There is no more word of Garcia, the prostitution ring or UNM's culpability. The creative writing professor prostituting with students appears to be under heavy protection, as does Garcia.

Sharon Warner has been made the fall guy of a corruption story that appears to have roots deep and wide through New Mexico government. Sharon has been vilified by many in the English Department, though she had always been respected and admired for the many resources she brought to the department, to the faculty and students. She continues to be scolded, told that this is all her fault, that she is responsible for the disruption and should shut up so this can be put behind the department. Just as what the dean told us when we met with he her to get her support, to speak on behalf of the students: "If you do not let this go and continue in your efforts to question authority, we can close down the creative writing program."

And what of the students we are all charged with teaching, with assisting in educating toward higher thought, toward the creativity we need to develop as a society, as many societies within a dynamic weave? Many will testify. They tried to file complaints but UNM would not accept their letters of complaint. This trial will give them a place from which to speak. And that is a good thing.

But who will hear?


UNM Sex Scandal Trial Begins Today

This morning begins a journey, from San Miguel to Leon then to DFW then to Albuquerque to testify in the trial of Sharon Warner with UNM. Yes, the UNM sex scandal case has not been settled. Basically it's this: a poetry professor was on an s and m prostitution website with students, engaged actively with them. Sharon was told to look at the site by the then English Department chair. When Sharon reported what she saw, the poetry professor took the site down then said Sharon was racist and making up the site and falsely accusing her. The university investigated Sharon for discrimination, even though the site and photographs were pulled up in archives, and is retaliating and harassing her. They continue to harass me with appeals against workforce solutions, to get back my unemployment money when I quit UNM for their dishonorable actions that threatened students and turned the department into a hostile and unprofessional workplace. Today starts Sharon's trial in Santa Fe. UNM continues to back up the professor who was basically using UNM for illegal activities. Please send prayers that justice is done here, for Sharon, and for the students who lost out on an education. I am considering reporting from this blog but have trepidation. When I testified at my first UNM appeal against my unemployment award case my van was trashed in the middle of the night.


February and March 2012 Calendar

  February 17, 2012 at 6 pm
Joy Harjo delivers a Key Note Address at the San Miguel Writers Conference.
Soul Talk, Soul Language
More Information
The Hotel Real de Minas
Real de Minas Ballroom
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Tel. 415-152-2626 or toll-free within Mexico 01800-466-5800

March 29
Agnes Scott College

Near Decater Georgia

March 29-31
University of Utah



MNN Column January 2012

It’s very early morning here in Oklahoma, still dark and quiet in the world. No buzz of what-I-have-to-do taking over the airwaves yet. The time of the dark is set aside for rest, for pondering and understanding. We all need to take our time in this place to remember who we are: a beloved people who are still walking through immense tests, individually and as a distinct nation.

January first marks the beginning of the New Year in the Gregorian calendar, a timekeeper we inherited from the Europeans. In this calendar we are at the beginning of the year, a time for evaluating where we’ve been, our failures and successes and for resolving changes. Most of us want to lose a few pounds. Some of us need to lose the extra person we’re carrying around. We all need to lose the weight of jealousy, unresolved grief that goes way back past our parents, grandparents, all the way back. We need to lose those patterns and habits that keep us from standing tall and breathing in the beautiful day so we can walk forward together and help each other with inspired thoughts and actions.

I like thinking of each dawn as the beginning of a new year. Then, I get a new start every morning. Each day then becomes a microcosm of each year. It’s not so overwhelming. For one day we can eat nourishing food, we can be nice to the person at work who always tests us, we can make that extra effort in all things, all thoughts, all actions. Then the string of days collects a shine and all things are possible.

When you wake up in the morning go outside. Turn to the East. East is the direction of beginnings. It is sunrise. When beloved Sun rises, it is an entrance, a door to fresh knowledge. Breath the light in. Call upon the assistance you need for the day. Give thanks.

When you go out you will see that the birds are out singing up the Sun. The plants too are turning in that direction.

And at dusk, as Sun leaves us, return to the station of remembering. When Sun leaves it makes a doorway. We have access to eternity. Breath out. Ask for forgiveness. Let all hurts and failures go. Let it all go.

The birds and animals turn inward and let go, as do the plants.
We are all in this ceremony together.

Another new beginning this morning is that of the new leadership. Tomorrow is the inauguration. It is therefore a sunrise point, and the beginning of a new path of meaning for the people. May we be guided by kindness, wisdom, and inspired knowledge. May leadership take great care of the resources of our people. Money, talents and knowledge are some of our collective resources.

“Everything matters”, said the brilliant jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. “Everything”.