How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002 (Paperback)

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How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002 (Paperback)


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Staff Reviews

You don't have to be a "poetry person" to understand and appreciate this collection—and you don't have to know anything about Joy Harjo. This collection takes place in the betweens. Between present and history, between the physical and the symbolic, between meaning, between heartbreak and hope.

Harjo is one of the most important literary voices of our time. Here, she is powerful and direct like water slipping between cracks in the earth. At once filling you up and wearing you away.


— From Brittni

Over a quarter-century's work from the 2003 winner of the Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement.

This collection gathers poems from throughout Joy Harjo's twenty-eight-year career, beginning in 1973 in the age marked by the takeover at Wounded Knee and the rejuvenation of indigenous cultures in the world through poetry and music. How We Became Human explores its title question in poems of sustaining grace.
Joy Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine poetry collections and two memoirs, most recently Poet Warrior. The recipient of the 2023 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, and the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393325348
ISBN-10: 0393325342
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: January 17th, 2004
Pages: 272
Language: English
Show[s] the remarkable progression of a writer determined to reconnect with her past and make sense of her present, drawing together the brutalities of contemporary reservation life with the beauty and sensibility of Native American culture and mythology....Alive with compassion, pain and love, this book is unquestionably an act of kindness.
— Publishers Weekly

I turn and return to Harjo's poetry for her breathtaking complex witness and for her world-remaking language.
— Adrienne Rich