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NEA Big Read "An American Sunrise"

In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role. Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. She is also the author of two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, which invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. She has edited several anthologies of Native American writing including When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through — A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and Living Nations, Living Words, the companion anthology to her signature poet laureate project. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally; her most recent album is I Pray For My Enemies. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

All programming is free, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Arts Midwest and the North Dakota Humanities Council. Check back for event updates, registration links, and book pick up locations/ availability.

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"An American Sunrise" Big Read

Opening Event

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October 13 6:30 - 8:30pm

Plains Art Museum

Denise Lajimodiere will read from her most recent book, “His Feathers Were Chains,” and discuss key themes and inspirations throughout the work. Several poems will be accompanied by original musical compositions performed by Concordia faculty and alumnus, Deborah Harris, Russ Peterson and Lisa Bost. Closing this event Denise will perform a jingle dress dance to the concluding music.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Poetry Writing Workshop for Teens

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December 2  6-8:00pm

Spirit Room

Fascilitated by Jamee Larson, this group will be discussing themes, formatting, and structure of Joy's work in order to create their own pieces inspired by "An American Sunrise."

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Community Book Discussion

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December 9  6:30-7:30pm

Zandbroz

Led by Carol Pearson, attendees will be invited to share their favorite piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise," and discuss the history, themes, and emotions behind the pieces.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced" Opening Reception

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January 20   5-7pm

Spirit Room

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

Author Dawn Quigley: Native Representation in Children’s Literature

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January 22   1pm

Fargo Public Library - Main Branch

Dawn Quigley, Ph.D. and citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe, ND, is an assistant professor of Education at St. Catherine University. She has written a number of children’s books, such as the coming-of-age young adult novel, Apple in the Middle (NDSU Press), the chapter book series Jo Jo Makoons: The Used to Be Best Friend (book 1), and Native American Heroes (Scholastic Books). Dawn will discuss her books, writing, and her work to amplify Native voices in literature and education.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Author Meet and Greet with Joy Harjo

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February 7  6:30-8:30pm

Plains Art Museum

Joy Harjo will join us at the Plains Art Museum as she reads for us some of her favorite pieces and discusses the themes, inspirations, and historical context behind them. She will also take time to answer questions from the audience. A short musical tribute performed by Concordia College faculty will follow.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced" Travels to West Fargo Public Library

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February 28 - March 28  

West Fargo Public Library

Did you miss the exhibit while it was at the Spirit Room? No worries! Enjoy the full exhibit, on display, at the West Fargo Public Library.

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced" Travels to Leach Library in Wahpeton

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March 28 - April 29

Leach Public Library

Did you miss the exhibit while it was at the Spirit Room? No worries! Enjoy a portion of the exhibit, on display, at the Leach Public Library in Wahpeton, ND.

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

NDSU Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Studies 101 course {TIPS101}

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October 22 11:00am

NDSU

NDSU class discussion of selections of Harjo’s "An American Sunrise."

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Poetry Writing Workshop for Adults

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December 4  1-3:00pm

Spirit Room

Fascilitated by Jamee Larson, this group will be discussing themes, formatting, and structure of Joy's work in order to create their own pieces inspired by "An American Sunrise."

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced"

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January 17 - February   26

Spirit Room

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

Introducing Jo Jo Makoons with Author Dawn Quigley

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January 22   10am

Fargo Public Library - Main Branch

Children’s book author Dawn Quigley will read from and discuss her new book, Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-be Best Friend, the first volume of a chapter book series. A citizen herself of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe in North Dakota, Dawn will discuss her childhood experiences growing up and not seeing books that represented her Native community. Geared for adults and children ages 5 and up.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Author Meet and Greet with Joy Harjo

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February 7  1-2pm  

TBD

Joy Harjo will host a meet and greet witha local Native American youth group. This event is by invite only.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Book Discussion and Poetry Workshop for the Elderly

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February 8  3-5:00pm

Riverview Place

Led by Karla Smart Morstad, an emerita from Concordia College, they will discuss themes in "An American Sunrise," poetry formatting, and possibly work on individual pieces.

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced" Travels to Lake Agassiz Public Library in Moorhead

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March 28  - April 29

Lake Agassiz Public Library

Did you miss the exhibit while it was at the Spirit Room? No worries! Enjoy a portion of the exhibit, on display, at the Lake Agassiz Public Library in Moorhead, MN.

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

"An American Sunrise" Big Read Group Art Exhibition "Displaced" Travels to Leach Library in Wahpeton

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June 1 - June 30

Fargo Public Library

Did you miss the exhibit while it was at the Spirit Room? No worries! Enjoy a portion of the exhibit, on display, at the Fargo Public Library Main Branch.

"Displaced" is a nationally curated group art exhibition by Laura Youngbird where each artist was assigned a piece from Joy Harjo's "An American Sunrise."

A special thank you goes out to our program partners. Through your generous support we have been able to offer these programs.

“NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the
Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.”