I recently attended the Society of American Indians (SAI) Centennial Symposium at Ohio State University where I had the privilege of attending a reading/performance by renowned Native American poet and musician Joy Harjo. I was also lucky to be the volunteer assigned to Joy, which meant that in addition to trying to make sure that everything was going smoothly and she and her band had everything they needed, I also got to sit in on their rehearsal and photograph them.
Joy played two different Native American wooden flutes, the ukulele, and the alto sax — and on top of that she sang, and also performed her poetry. She was amazing. This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to attend one of her readings (the last time was at the 2010 NAISA conference in Tuscon, Arizona), and it was just as incredible this time around. If you ever have the chance, you should go see her. And even if you don’t, you should definitely listen to some of her music and read some of her books (poetry or otherwise).