Details

ISBN-10: 081951182X
ISBN-13: 9780819511829
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publish Date: 05/21/1990
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 6.00" W, 0.40" H

In Mad Love and War

Paperback

Price: $15.95

Overview

Sacred and secular poems of the Creek Tribe.

Winner of the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award (1990)
Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award (1991)
2019 United States Poet Laureate

Joy Harjo is a powerful voice for her Creek (Muscogee) tribe (a stolen people in a stolen land), for other oppressed people, and for herself. Her poems, both sacred ad secular, are written with the passions of anger, grief, and love, at once tender and furious. They are rooted in the land; they are one with the deer and the fox, the hawk and the eagle, the sun, moon, and wind, and the seasons – spring/ was lean and hungry with he hope of children and corn. There are enemies here, also lovers; there are ghost dancers, ancestors old and new, who rise again to walk in shoes of fire.

Indeed, fire and its aftermath is a constant image in the burning book. Skies are incendiary; the smoke of dawn turns enemies into ashes: I am fire eaten by wind. Your fire scorched/ my lips. I am lighting the fire that crawls from my spine/ to the gods with a coal from my sister’s flame.

But the spirit of this book is not consumed. It is not limited by mad love or war, and there is something larger than the memory/ of a dispossessed people. That something larger is, for example, revolution, freedom, birth.

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Reviews
Joy Harjo is now writing a visionary poetry that is among the very best we have.–Village Voice

I first encountered Joy Harjo, member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, at the Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the late 1990s. At an offsite event she read some poems, then sang and played her saxophone with her band, Poetic Justice. I was transfixed. I picked up a book of her poetry, In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which she signed and inscribed, For Chris, For Justice, For Love. I have carried that book with me through every move, every bookshelf culling, every physical and emotional transformation since. At a time when I was just beginning to appreciate poetry, Harjo's work became a touchstone against which pretty much everything else would be measured. The poetry of other writers has come and gone, but Harjo's work has remained lodged deep in my heart.–Christopher LaTray, The Missoulian
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Details

ISBN-10: 081951182X
ISBN-13: 9780819511829
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publish Date: 05/21/1990
Dimensions: 8.30" L, 6.00" W, 0.40" H
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