Posted by: Joelle Jameson | July 2, 2011

Emily Thomas / Hershman R. John / Joy Harjo

To celebrate the near-half-over year, I dipped once again into the great literary wealth of Emerson College’s graduate community and spoke to recent graduate Emily Thomas. Emily is a poet and a teacher and will be starting her Ph.D in Native American Literature at the University of Arizona in Tuscon this fall.

Two poets you wouldn't want to meet in Del Taco . . . actually, probably the best poets to meet in Del Taco. Emily on the left. Charlotte in a special cameo appearance on the right.

I asked her to recommend some Native American poetry, and she told me about one of Hershman R. John’s books, “I Swallow Turquoise for Courage,” which was published by the university of Arizona press in 2007. A very cool read, as you will hear from our discussion.

Three clicks to listen:

1: Go to
2: Click the small man wearing headphones (he’s under the picture gallery)
3: Click the first option on the playlist; the show will play directly from the site.

Hershman R. John grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Sand Springs, Arizona and currently teaches composition, creative writing, and American Indian literature at Phoenix College.

Emily also turned me on to the songs and poetry of Joy Harjo, esteemed poet and musician and a member of the Muscogee Nation. You’ll have to click the link to her [very user-friendly] website to get a true taste of her scope, but she has some fantastic albums featuring her poems and music with her band Poetic Justice, tracks of which are also featured on the show.

So! It’s a muddled love fest as usual, enjoying great work with a great guest. Enjoy, and send your comments and suggestions to


“A Sheep Dog Locked in Photograph” by Hershman R. John
“Ode to Del Taco” by Emily Thomas
“Fear Poem” by Joy Harjo, performed with Poetic Justice
From “Coyote Took Her Class” by Hershan R. John


“Tighten Up” by The Black Keys
“The Woman Hanging from the 13th Floor” by Joy Harjo

Transition Songs

“Positively Inclined” by Wax Tailor
“Ai Du” by Ali Farke Toure and Ry Cooder
“Let’s Get Out of This Country” by Camera Obscura


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: