25 – Promotion


Joy Harjo (b. 1951), poet, musician

William G. Thompson (1922-2009), agent

William G. Thompson, president of the Briarwood Writers' Alliance, Inc. of Needham, Massachusetts, represented more than 150 writers, poets, and performers by booking lectures and readings at educational institutions, literary gatherings, and community events. In addition to the poet W. D. Snodgrass, also represented in the front case in this exhibition, Briarwood’s clients included Native American poet Joy Harjo (Muskoke/Creek Nation). Publicity stills, flyers, and correspondence reflect outreach for appearances and performances of Harjo and her band, Poetic Justice. Shown with the early publicity is Harjo’s first full-length book of poetry, What Moon Drove Me to This? This copy, from the library of Ishmael Reed, was published in 1979 by his imprint, I. Reed Books. Harjo was named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2019.

All items from the William G. Thompson Briarwood Writers’ Alliance correspondence and records

  1. Promotional flyer for Poetic Justice, Contact Joy Harjo, Two Red Horses, 1989
  2. Joy Harjo to Bill Thompson, computer-typed letter signed, January 25, 1989
  3. Harjo, Joy. What Moon Drove Me to This? I. Reed Books, 1979. From the library of Ishmael Reed. Cover art by Joy Harjo
  4. Paste-up for Joy Harjo promotional flyer, Briarwood Writers’ Alliance, 1989
  5. Sponsor requirements for Poetic Justice, Briarwood Writers’ Alliance, 1989
  6. Bill Thompson to Joy Harjo, computer-typed letter, January 31, 1989
  7. Norton Book News: “The Woman Who Fell from the Sky by Joy Harjo.” Norton, 1994