We begin the week with a look at the conclusion of a historic poet laureateship and International Haiku Poetry Day.
Historic Poet Laureateship Concludes with Dance Party
The poet Joy Harjo will conclude her three terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States at the end of this month. The event, which will be celebrated by Library of Congress, ends with a closing ceremony which will include a free dance party and a number of poetry readings.
Each year The Library of Congress selects a poet to take on the role of Poet Laureate and serve for a term of 8 months which will run from October through to May. Since the position was created 85 years ago there have only been two poets who have ever served in the position for a period of three consecutive years, Joy Harjo and Robert Pinsky. Harjo is the only Native American to have been appointed to the position; the is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Tulsa Oklahoma.
During her 3 term laureateship Harjo has presided over a project that has helped to uplift the poetry of a total of 47 Native Nations. She has spent much of her time collecting audio recordings that have been made by Native poets and completing an interactive map. Both of these will live in a collection that will be called
She has also published an anthology that will run alongside the recordings.
With a career that spans 50-years Harjo has written nine poetry books, a children’s book, two memories and an adolescent book, she is also a musician.
The closing event is due to take place on 28th April. There will be readings from Harjo and a number of other poets. This will be followed on 29th with a dance party which will showcase some songs chosen by Harjo and also some of her own work.
During the final week in April the Library will also be hosting a historic event the In-Na-Po (Indigenous Nations Poets) first retreat. This is a new organisation that has been put together to mentor emerging native writers. Whilst Harjo will be assisting with this, she is also hoping to take time out following her laureateship in order to focus on other things such as her painting.
2022 International Haiku Poetry Day
Every year on 17th April, International Haiku Poetry Day is celebrated to help make people aware of the humble Haiku.
Haiku’s are a Japanese poetry form consisting of just three lines. They follow a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. International Haiku Poetry Day was first registered as an idea in 2007. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that the celebration really took off when the Haiku Foundation took it up as a project.
The event, which is still in its infancy is a rather informal one with the organisers suggesting that people should celebrate in a number of different ways. These include trying to write a Haiku of their own, reading Haikus Written by Haiku Poets like Peter Washington, Matsuo Basho and Robert Hass, or just learning some interesting facts about Haikus.