In late 2019 and late 2020, following the death of W.S. Merwin, The Merwin Conservancy curated a special “memorial series” of The Green Room.
U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo was a featured presenter in the series, and gave two readings during her time in the islands in late January 2020. Her Maui presentation was held at the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on January 30, 2020. Her presentation was preceded by an opening poem and oli (Hawaiian chant) from native Hawaiian poet, farmer, and community activist Mahealani Perez-Wendt.
In this excerpt, she introduces and reads her poem, “My House is the Red Earth.”
The 2019-20 Memorial Series of Green Room was made possible by presenting sponsors Aqua Aston Hospitality, Atherton Family Foundation, and Halekulani. Special thanks to the U.S. Library of Congress, Blue Flower Arts and Joy Harjo for supporting The Merwin Conservancy through their participation.
Filmed by Darren Yamamoto Films for Berktech Solutions with support from the Maui Arts & Cultural Center technical crew. Edited by Sara Tekula at The Merwin Conservancy.
“My House is the Red Earth” from Secrets from the Center of the World by Joy Harjo, with photographs by Stephen Strom. © 1989 The Arizona Board of Regents. Published with permission of the author.