SOLD OUT: Poetry Reading: Joy Harjo, Rita Dove, & Sandra Cisneros
This event is SOLD OUT! Guests with an RSVP ticket will be guaranteed a seat in Whiteman Hall. For those still wanting to attend, there will be over-flow seating available in Great Hall with live streaming from Whiteman. These seats are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis, and no ticket is needed.
Joy Harjo, Rita Dove, & Sandra Cisneros will visit Phoenix to read from their own poetry, as well as to celebrate the longstanding conversation across and between their deeply impactful work.
Joy Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry; a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music including the award-winning album Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. She is Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952. A 1970 Presidential Scholar as one of the one hundred top high school graduates in the nation that year, she received her MFA in 1977 from the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, where she was the only African American student at the time. From 1981 to 1989 she taught creative writing at Arizona State University - the final two years as the first and only African-American full professor in ASU's English Department.
In 1989 Rita Dove joined the University of Virginia, where she continues to hold the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English. The recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Thomas and Beulah, a book she wrote while teaching at ASU, she has numerous other literary works to her credit, among them Sonata Mulattica (2009), a poetic treatise on the life of 19th century violinist George Bridgetower, as well as sole editorship of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011). Her drama The Darker Face of the Earth premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1996, followed by productions at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Royal National Theatre in London and many other venues. The Boston Symphony debuted her song cycle "Seven for Luck," with music by John Williams, under the composer's baton in 1998.
Rita Dove's most recent book, Collected Poems 1974-2004, received the 2017 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. Among her many other honors are the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton (making her the only poet with both national medals) and 25 honorary degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Letters from Arizona State University in 1995.
Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, and an activist. Writing for over 50 years, her work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and prose, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary degrees, national and international book awards, and most recently Chicago's Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of Arts presented to her by President Obama at the White House. Her classic coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street has sold over six million copies, has been translated into more than twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and university curricula across the U.S. Founder of awards and foundations that serve writers and a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, Sandra Cisneros earns her living by her pen.
This event is free and open to the public.
Presented in partnership with The University of Arizona Poetry Center, with lead sponsor the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and additional support from the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University, the Literary and Prologue Society of the Southwest, and Superstition Review.