Joy Harjo, the First Native Poet Laureate of the U.S., Never Imagined It Was Something She Could Do

From a Wall Street Journal story by Emily Bobrow headlined “Joy Harjo Found a ‘Portal to Grace’ in Poetry”:

Joy Harjo, the first Native Poet Laureate of the U.S., didn’t plan to become a poet. As a Muscogee Creek girl in Tulsa, Okla., she didn’t know anyone who wrote poetry and never imagined it was something she could do. Many of her early teachers pushed her to learn secretarial skills and set her sights on marriage. “A lot of girls I knew had bride dolls, which even in the ‘50s horrified me,” she says over the phone from her home in Tulsa, where she lives with her husband, Owen Chopoksa Sapulpa, not far from where she grew up. “Poetry wasn’t offered as a vocation.”