Joy Harjo is the current and first poet in residence at the Dylan Center, but her artistic cred goes much deeper and wider, having just finished three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States (2019-22) – the first Native American to hold this honor. She is also a Tulsa resident and citizen of the Muscogee (Creek Nation), and her ouvre covers poetry, nonfiction, and music. I have her “American Sunrise” collection, but was happy to run across a shelf full of signed works at Magic City bookstore, so I picked up her memoir “Poet Warrior” and latest CD “I Pray for My Enemies”
At the Dylan Center, there is a reading nook with a typewriter, curated by Ms. Harjo. It’s a space where people are invited to stop and reflect, think, and engage. Circling back through the museum a second time, I noticed a woman on the typewriter, engrossed, typing away. She was there some time and it reminded me of how we are all links in a chain, separate but connected, in this case, following from Rimbaud and Guthrie to Dylan and Harjo to a visitor who may be planting a seed for the future. Or at least, for the moment. And, that’s really what it’s about, being part of that pool of individuals bearing witness to our singular and shared experiences.