U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo discusses “An American Sunrise” as part of the NEA Big Read

Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate and member of the Muscogee Nation

NEA

Sweet Briar College, the Amherst Glebe Arts Response and community partners (Amherst County Museum and Historical Society, Amherst County Public Library and Public Schools, Amherst Woman’s Club, Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, Central Virginia Community College, Monacan Nation Cultural Foundation and the Monacan Tribe) are pleased to welcome Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate and member of the Muscogee Nation, for a series of presentations and readings from her book of poems, “An American Sunrise.”

This NEA Big Read Amherst County Virginia program is part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program, administered by Arts Midwest.

Joy Harjo will join us live over Zoom from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Please join us in person or virtually for the following free events:


Joy Harjo: Keynote Lecture on “An American Sunrise” and Q&A Session

Monday, March 14, 4-5 p.m.
1948 Theatre, Sweet Briar College
134 Chapel Rd., Sweet Briar

Register here for the virtual event.

Virtual attendees must register in advance and will be able to participate in the Q&A through the chat feature.

Register here to attend in person.

In-person attendance is limited to 75 and advance registration is requested. Non-registrants may fill any remaining seats at 3:55 pm.

This program will be available on AGAR’s YouTube channel from March 16 through April 8, 2022.


Joy Harjo: Keynote Lecture on Native American Poetry and Q&A Session

Monday, March 14, 7-8 p.m.
Monacan Nation Community Center
111 Highview Dr., Madison Heights
(Enter through the side door)

This is a hybrid virtual and in-person event. Registration is not required for in-person guests but space is limited to 75.

Register here for the virtual event.

Virtual attendees must register in advance and will be able to participate in the Q&A through the chat feature.


Kick-off Event:
Life and Work of Karenne Wood

Sunday, March 13, 2:30 p.m.
Hamble Center of the Amherst County Museum
154 South Main St., Amherst

Karenne Wood

Speakers include:

  • Chief Kenneth Branham, Monacan Nation
  • Diane Shields, chair and director, Monacan Nation Cultural Foundation, which manages the Monacan Museum, food bank, youth program and the powwow
  • David Bearinger, senior director, Grants & Global Virginia Programs for Virginia Humanities
  • Adrienne Brown, Wood’s daughter, will speak about her family and read her mother’s poems
  • Teresa Pollak, Wood’s friend and Monacan activist, will speak about Wood’s scholarship
  • Octavia Starbuck, director of Amherst County Museum and Historical Society since 2014
  • Winona Gear, Monacan tribal member and ACMHS intern will speak about Wood’s input into the new museum exhibit and her influence on younger Monacans
  • Marcia Robertson, Ph.D., a teacher, will introduce the NEA Big Read Amherst County Virginia project on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate and Muscogee Nation member

Exhibits in the Main Amherst Museum House are open from 1-2:15 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.

  • Temporary exhibit: Personal items of Karenne Wood
  • Touring exhibit on Karenne Wood: Created from photos and text about the life, scholarship, poetry and family of Karenne Wood. It will tour Amherst County with the NEA Big Read Amherst County project.
  • Main exhibit: The Monacan People Pre- and Post- Contract Era on the History of the Monacan Nation in Amherst County

This program is presented by the Monacan Nation and Monacan Nation Cultural Foundation, Amherst Glebe Arts Response and the Amherst Museum and Historical Society with the generous support of Virginia Humanities and NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


Discussion of Native American Poets by Joy Harjo and Karenne Wood

Friday, March 18, 11 a.m.
Amherst County Public Library
200 James River Plaza, Madison Heights

Join a discussion led by Marcia Robertson, Ph.D., scholar in American Literature, and Judy Maxham, Madison Heights librarian. Students from home-school and adult education programs are especially invited to attend this discussion event. Traveling exhibits about Joy Harjo and Monacan poet Karenne Wood will be on display.


Amherst Glebe Arts Response 2021-2022 Big Read community partners:

Logos