Joy Harjo on When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry is a landmark collection celebrating the Indigenous peoples of North America – the first poets of this country – whose literary traditions stretch back centuries. Opening with a blessing from Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday, the book contains powerful introductions from contributing editors who represent the five geographically organized sections. Each begins with a poem from traditional oral literatures and closes with emerging poets, ranging from Eleazar, a 17th-century Native student at Harvard, to Jake Skeets, a young Diné poet born in 1991, and including renowned writers such as Luci Tapahonso, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, and Ray Young Bear. When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through offers the extraordinary sweep of Native literature, without which no study of American poetry is complete.
Moderated by Campbell McGrath, Nouns & Verbs: New and Selected Poems.