University of Tennessee Scholar Wins the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Joy Harjo, the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry PrizeJoy Harjo, a professor of English at the University of Tennessee, has been selected as the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation. The award, which comes with a $100,000 prize, recognizes the lifetime work of a living American poet. Professor Harjo will be honored at a ceremony on June 12 in Chicago.

In a statement after the award was announced, Professor Harjo said, “I am deeply honored to be the recipient of such a recognition. There are so many who are a part of me making it to where I am on this poetry road. I’ve had so many teachers. Some were formal educators, others artists, family members, elements, animals, plants, and others. The process of becoming never ends.”

Professor Harjo, who holds the Chair of Excellence in the department of English at the University of Tennessee, is the author of eight books of poetry, a memoir, two children’s books, a collaboration with photographer and astronomer Stephen Strom, and an anthology of North American Native women’s writing. She is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a graduate of the University of New Mexico. Professor Harjo holds a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

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