Poet Laureate Joy Harjo to Visit Suffolk County for Public Speaking Engagements

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo will be visiting Long Island is set to deliver the keynote speech at Bay Shore High School’s Ethnic Pen Conference this coming Friday, April 8, 2022.Born in Tulsa Oklahoma, Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. In addition to being the first Native American appointed to the role of National Poet Laureate, she is also an internationally recognized musician, composer, performer, award-winning author and activist. The public reading will be held at 7 p.m. at the Avram Fine Arts Theater at Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus – which sits on traditional Shinnecock lands. A free live-stream of the reading can be viewed at www.stonybrook.edu/live.This day-long residency is one of over 56 programs organized by Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja Inc. all of which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read Grant, the Bay Shore Union Free School District High School’s Ethnic Pen Conference and Bay Shore Schools Art Education Fund.Margarita Espada is a cultural activist and the Founder and executive Director of Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja Inc. Her organization is a first-time recipient of the NEA Big Read Grant, which aims to connect all of us through literature and organized Harjo’s upcoming visit to the Shinnecock reserve.“I am honored to bring this program together to create awareness around the land and our indigenous roots,” said Espada. “As humans, we share art. Art is a different language to connect us and I felt Joy [Harjo] really showed that.”Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja Inc. is hosting additional programs surrounding Harjo’s poetry through June 16, 2022. A full calendar of activities can be found by visiting www.teatroyerbabruja.org