How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975 – 2001

Aug 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Media Reviews

HOW WE BECAME HUMAN COVERby Joy Harjo
W.W. Norton & Co. (2002), New York, NY
ISBN 1-5709-1499-0
242 pages
Paperback $19.95

Review by Susan Skinner

Poems from seven of Harjo’s other publications plus new offerings are presented in this paperback book.  Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Nation, gives voice to a culture under siege. The poems at times resemble stories, songs, or prayers that praise the spirit and land; others convey the darker side of human experience, giving voice to separation, despair, and loneliness. The book includes an extensive introduction, index, and 36 pages of explanatory notes.  I would recommend this book for library purchase.

Susan Skinner is the reference and children’s librarian at Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, NE. She received her Master’s Degree in Library Science in May 2005.

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