American Sunrise
Joy Harjo

Book cover image

Narrated By: Joy Harjo

Duration: 1 hour and 41 minutes

What to expect

A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land.

In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and “one of our finest―and most complicated―poets” (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.


Poetry, Poetry, Poetry

Listen to a sample

“Full of celebration, crisis, brokenness, and healing.”

New York Times Book Review

“If you read only one book of poems this summer, make it An American Sunrise."

Washington Post

“Harjo confronts the ghosts of her ancestors—she explores a lingering feeling of injustice and tries to forge a new beginning, all the while weaving in themes of beauty and survival.”


“Bold and exciting.”

New York Journal of Books

“Radiant…[A] profound, brilliantly conceived song cycle celebrating ancestors, present and future generations, historic endurance, and fresh beginnings.”


“Joy Harjo does not just read her poems. She performs them with passion and music; some are literally songs and she sings them…The poems are beautiful, made more beautiful by the author’s vivid and emotional interpretations…The audiobook also includes transcripts of interviews with survivors of the Trail of Tears. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


“Both history lesson and traditional collection.”

AM New York

“Harjo intertwines verse with prose vignettes, oral histories, and flash memoirs in this expressive and generous book…She writes in tones that will speak to readers who are ready to remember, or to learn anew.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] resplendent and reverberating new volume deeply rooted in tribal and family experiences, nature, land, and tradition…matched by timeless wisdom.”