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Joy Harjo Biography | Author of Anniversary

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Joy Harjo was born in May 1951 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is typically considered a Native American poet, and this is the part of her ancestry with which she identifies most closely. Harjo's birth name, however, was Joy Foster, and between her mother and father, she can claim Creek and Cherokee Indian, African American, Irish, and French heritage. She is an official member of the Muscogee tribe of the Creek Nation, and much of her poetry derives themes from growing up with a mixed ancestry, never feeling that she was fully accepted by any race or ethnicity. Her paternal great-great-grandfather led the Creek Indians in battles against Andrew Jackson's soldiers in the early nineteenth century, but his daughter, Harjo's great-grandmother, married a Baptist minister who was half African. Harjo's paternal grandmother, Naomi Harjo, was of mixed Cherokee and French blood, and this is the woman from whom Joy would...

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This section contains 506 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Anniversary Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Anniversary from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.