Chautauqua speaker Joy Harjo will present Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings at 7:30 p.m., today, in O’Donnell Hall. Director of Eastern’s Chautauqua series, Erik Liddell gave insight into what students might expect from Harjo’s lecture.
Liddell explained the title of the Chautauqua, Conflict Resolution for Holy Being is also the title of Harjo’s most recent book of poetry. Liddell said the title of Holy Beings encompasses all of the humanity adding even though the book is not religious, it is highly spiritual.
“The book suggests that we are all wanderers in this space-time and on this earth,” Liddell said, “and it opens up passageways of the soul to shared experiences, of loss, of longing, of hope, and of love, through the poet’s focus on the ‘conflicts’ in our culture, in ourselves, in our history, and in our relationships.”
This conflict is the chaos which ties the lecture into the series’s main topic of chaos and order within each Chautauqua. The order concept within this Chautauqua comes from the resolution to the chaos Harjo presents from Native American Traditions.
“We are all ‘holy beings,’ at least in so far as we embrace the mystery and interconnection of all existence,” Liddell explained.
Harjo’s Chautauqua, which is brightened by her Native American heritage and what it has taught her, is brought to EKU during America’s Native American Heritage Month. A month which reminds citizens of the heritage’s past as well as it’s future.
Native American culture has undergone a sort of “Renaissance,” Liddell said, noting how the wisdom coming from this culture has been benefitting everyone.
“I don’t think it’s much of an overstatement to say that we might need to embrace more indigenous attitudes in order to resolve all sorts of conflicts, seek order in the chaos of global politics, and take care of the planet and each other,” Liddell said.
Harjo was selected to speak for this lecture because she is immensely talented, accomplished and her presentations are unique, Liddell said. To add emphasis to the uniqueness of Harjo’s presentations Liddell hinted that she might be bringing her saxophone.
“Joy Harjo is one of our greatest living poets, in my view,” Liddel said. “I’m sure that she will captivate our minds, our hearts and our imaginations.”