Yoga: Pigeon Pose by Joan Gelfand

Art credit - Dave Morehouse

Art credit – Dave Morehouse

Joan’s letters, articles, stories, poems and reviews have appeared in national and international publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Poets & Writers, Kaliope, Levure Litteraire, The Toronto Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, The Sycamore Review, Rattle and The Chaffin Journal. One of Joan’s first breaks was having her poem recorded by the rock band, B’B’K’Roche. The song, “Strong and Free” was aired nationally. Joan often performs with musicians and has recorded a CD, “Transported,” with original music by Marty Castleberg.

Traveling far and wide to meet poetry and literature lovers, Joan has performed in over 100 venues in the United States and Mexico. Key readings and appearances include Bowery Poetry Club, American Association of Colleges, Puerto Rico, Mills College, Oakland, California, University of Wyoming, Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Litquake, San Francisco, The Oakland Museum and the New York, Nashville, Detroit, Norwalk, CT, San Francisco and other Bay Area Public Libraries. She has been featured on KPIX, NBC (twice,) and on cable TV and many local radio stations.

Joan has always been a dreamer. Convinced that life lessons and clear instructions come through dreams, Joan has been wowed by dreams of flying with the Dalai Lama, sitting in meditation with Buddha, and now has an essay, “The Key” coming out in the new edition of “Chicken Soup for the Dreamer’s Soul,” in September, 2015. Her award winning poem “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics,” came to Joan in a series of dreams over two years. Dana Walden, a Los Angeles filmmaker has made the poem into a movie. The film will be launched at the Beat Museum in San Francisco in October, 2015.

Joan’s work has been widely anthologized. “99 Poems for the 99 Percent” was on Small Press Distribution’s bestseller list in August 2014 and “Touching: Poems of Love, Longing & Desire” was awarded the Independent Book Publisher’s award. Philip Levine wrote the Introduction to “The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry,” and Arianna Huffington and other luminaries were included in “If Women Ruled the World.” Other key anthologies include “gape-seed,” greatweatherformedia.com, “You Are Here: Poetry From the Streets of New York,” “Bridging New York,” (P&Q press).

Joan has two essays in the well reviewed “Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching,” published by McFarland (with a foreword by Molly Peacock) and an essay on Publishing in the Book Baby Writer’s Advice series. She has taught for California Poets in the Schools and Poetry Out Loud and is the recipient of two Poets & Writers grants and several California Arts Council grants.

Writing awards include: Best Fiction, Cervena Barva for “Here and Abroad” 2010, Best fiction, Chaffin Journal (Eastern Kentucky University) for “Paris Blues Redux, Poets 11, a city-wide San Francisco competition judged by Jack Hirschman, Honorable Mention by PEN Women, Roanoke and other local awards.

The author.

The author.

Joan's beatnik cats Lawrence Ferlinghetti & Jack Kerouac

Joan’s beatnik cats
Lawrence Ferlinghetti & Jack Kerouac

At the grateful dead farewell show, Santa Clara, CA, June 2015

At the Grateful Dead farewell show, Santa Clara, CA, June 2015

From Yoko Ono's "grapefruit," one of her primary inspirations.

From Yoko Ono’s “grapefruit,” one of Gelfand’s primary inspirations.

 

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