Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Joy Street: Review and Giveaway

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
~ Mark Twain 

Published in 2014, Joy Street by poet Laura Foley is a chapbook of thirty-three poems.  I read Joy Street quickly and intently one afternoon, then reread it on a different day, and jotted down some notes.  I read a few of the poems out loud (when I was the only one at home) because poetry is meant to be heard.  I'm never quite sure how to best read or review a collection of poems (or short stories), but I suppose there is no right or wrong way.

The poems in Joy Street are honest and personal, and could be autobiographical.  Some of the poems (or poetic narratives) are written as descriptive paragraphs, rather than in stanzas.  Below is a short example of this style, in Laura Foley's poem about writing, which will resonate with writers.

On Sense

After two beach weeks, sun-tanned and sandy, I perch, air-deprived as 
a pet canary, amidst piled books, diligently marking paper with pen, 
while anybody with any sense enjoys the air at the nearest body of 
water, as I follow the urge to make sense of surf, to make waves that 
may outlast memory. 

The title of the collection, Joy Street, is found in the poem, No GPS Necessary, although the author's profound sense of joy is present throughout the book.  Laura Foley expresses the joy she feels in various poems: while buying fruit in Springtime at the Grocery Store, when she sees her partner, Clara, gardening in Voyeur, while Clara is at the hospital in Like Teenagers, and elsewhere. This poet shares her joy with readers in a clear, direct, and distinct manner.  The collection is aptly titled, and these poems gracefully capture moments of joy.  I found the poems interesting and I enjoyed reading them.  Joy Street made me think about the joy I feel in my own life (my cup runneth over at times), and it made me feel appreciative.

Thanks to the author and TLC, I'm very pleased to offer a giveaway for this book (U.S.A. /Canada).

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or indicate that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • For another chance, share some joy!  Name "a little thing" that gives you joy (mine is panang curry with tofu). 
  • For one more entry, leave a comment on tomorrow's guest post with Laura Foley.

Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, February 2.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, February 3.  Best of luck to all!

Special thanks to Serena from Savvy Verse and Wit for inviting me to participate in this tour, and to Lisa from TLC for providing a copy of this book.  Please stop by again tomorrow for my guest post with Laura Foley.  For more reviews, giveaways, and other features, visit the other stops on TLC's book blog tour for Joy Street.


  1. I loved her enthusiasm in expressing joy in all its forms. It really was a testament to joy! Readers cannot help but focus on the joy in their own lives after reading these. Cannot wait to see the guest post. No need to enter me in the giveaway.

  2. Serena, it really is a testament to joy--well said! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I enjoyed your review Suko. I don't read poetry too much, but this sounds like a perfect topic. I'm glad you have much joy in your life. My dog most definitely gives me joy. I enjoyed your quotes in this post too.

  4. Thanks for introducing me to this book.i look for joy in each day,

  5. "to make waves that may outlast memory." A most interesting poet indeed, is Laura Foley. I will look for the interview (you know I'm a follower). Thank you for this glimpse into her work.
    The best source of joy for me is the smile on a child's face--it makes my day.

  6. This book would be a treasure which I would give as a gift to an older woman who would cherish this greatly. many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I really like that poem that you posted.

    It reflects some of my own feelings.

    I think that the way toy read this book was a great way to read poetry Suko. One time through without stopping, then going back for a careful experience.

  8. Loving the cover. I'm still however very much of the opinion that I really own like poetry when it is read TO me. Reading it myself really doesn't do it for me I'm afraid.

  9. Sounds lovely, I am in the UK so not eligible but good luck to everyone entering and thanks for giving the comp.


  10. I really don't think that there is a wrong or right way to review poetry but I will admit that I've never tried it myself :) I am glad to hear that you enjoyed this one Suko!

  11. I agree, poetry is meant to be heard. Glad you enjoyed Joy Street. Last semester I went to a poetry reading for one of my classes and I know what you mean, it's wonderful when poetry can make you think about the joy in your own life :) The poets I heard in school were two women, one was a mother and their work was lovely and thought provoking.
    I emailed you! I'm slowly getting back to blogging again. I've missed your blog.

    1. Yay! Welcome back, Naida! Thank you for your email (which I just read), and thank you for your comment. Your new blog looks wonderful.

  12. I love the title and cover of this book - they give me such a happy, positive feeling!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  13. Sounds like we both had the same thoughts on this collection. Great review!


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