When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry

Joy Harjo, executive editor
Published in 2020
by Norton

“It is poetry that holds the songs of becoming, of change, of dreaming, and it is poetry we turn to when we travel those places of transformation, like birth, coming of age, marriage, accomplishments, and death,” writes U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo in the introduction to this landmark anthology celebrating indigenous poets spanning four centuries. Harjo—along with LeAnn Howe, Jennifer Elise Foerster, and a lineup of contributing editors and regional advisors—gathers the work of more than 160 poets representing nearly one hundred indigenous nations such as Eleazar, a seventeenth-century Native student at Harvard; Natalie Diaz; Jake Skeets; Layli Long Soldier; Luci Tapahanso; and Ray Young Bear. With work ranging from traditional oral literatures to contemporary poetry, this anthology is historic and essential reading.


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