July 20, 2022

Joy Harjo Is the Bob Dylan Center’s First Artist-in-Residence

Joy Harjo performs at her opening event as the U.S. Poet Laureate
Photo: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress, 2019

Poet Joy Harjo has begun her residency at the new Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Joy Harjo, the U.S. poet laureate and a Tulsa native, started her six-year tenure in May 2022. She will present educational programs and live performances, as well as curating special exhibitions.

In a press release, Harjo said, “When Bob Dylan stepped forward and made his path of song making, poetry, and storytelling, a path that lit a generation, he opened a creative door for others to find their way to fresh invention and imagining. I am one of those who followed. My residency will allow this legacy to be extended to the community, to encourage and share creativity. I am honored to be part of this new venture.” 

Harjo seems a good choice for the center not only because of her Tulsa connection but because she is a poet and musician.

Bob Dylan will publish a new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song, this fall. It contains 60 essays by him on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster, Hank Williams, Nina Simone to Elvis Costello, and in many in between.  

In addition to hosting events and exhibitions, the center will host 100,000 exclusive artifacts spanning 60 years of Dylan’s career, including handwritten lyric manuscripts and correspondence, previously unreleased recordings and film performances.




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