PULLMAN, Wash. –- Native American Poet Joy Harjo will speak March 26 at Washington State University as part of the “Who Speaks for America?” series.

The open lecture, organized by the Comparative American Cultures department, is from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203.

“Harjo is a unique voice, poet and protector of all living things, someone who forgives but does not forget,” said Alex Kuo, chair of CAC, who started the lecture series nearly 20 years ago.

Born in Tulsa, Okla., Harjo is an enrolled member of the Muskogee Tribe, and much of her poetry deals with issues and hardships facing native peoples. She is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

Harjo’s many honors include a 1991 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for “In Mad Love and War,” The American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Harjo graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in poetry and completed a master’s degree at the University of Iowa in 1978. She has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Arizona State University, University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico. Harjo resides in Albuquerque, N.M., and often combines her love of words and music by performing her poetry and playing saxophone.