I typically don’t read poetry by choice. The only times I have are when it’s for my classes or as part of a book club. When I do read poetry I prefer narrative poetry or a collection of poems that has a common theme. I choose to read “An American Sunrise” because I’ve read some other works of Joy Harjo and I was highlighting Native American authors during November.
This collection centers on the Federal displacement of the Mvskoke Creek Nation on the Trail of Tears and it’s aftermath. Ms. Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke nation and remembers and mourns the effects of the displacement. There’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction throughout this collection which added an interesting layer to the experience.
I recommend this read for individuals and groups. I’m trying to inform myself of the history of the Native Americans and this poetry collection helped educate me on the long-term effects of forced removals. I remember hearing a lot about the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears but never knew there were other nations who were part of the Southeastern displacement. As a group it would be interesting to hear which pieces spoke to each member and dive into each piece and the collection as a whole.