Joan Gelfand, Author of The Long Blue Room

Award winning poet Joan Gelfand  has been a WNBA San Francisco member since 2004 and has served as San Francisco Chapter President, VP/National President and Immediate Past President from 2006-2012. She is currently Chair of Development and the National Writing Contest Committee Chair.

Joan’s work has been published in national and international publications, including Kalliope, Levure Litteraire, The Toronto Quarterly, California Quarterly, The Griffen, the MacGuffin and The Chaffin Journal. Select anthologies include ‘It’s Animal But Merciful,” “Connections: Bridging New York,” “You Are Here: Poetry from the Streets of New York,” “Continents of Light,” “Broken Circles: A Gathering of Poems for Hunger,” “Touching,” and “Fighting Words: PEN Oakland.” Readings include Bowery Poetry Club, Southern Festival of Books, Litquake, The Oakland Museum, The Beat Museum, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts and the NY Public Library. She has been featured on KPIX, NBC, cable TV and over 20 radio stations.

Joan is the Poetry Editor for the “J” and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Her newest poetry collection,“The Long Blue Room,” was just published by Benicia Literary Arts. (Feb. 2014) The book is available from the publisher, Ingram and on Amazon.

“The Long Blue Room” poems have won many awards including: Poets 11 judged by Jack Hirschman, Poet of the Month from PoetryMagazine.com, Honorable Mention from Pen Women/Roanoke, First Prize from Osmosis Sanctuary and Honorable Mention from the City of Benicia. Her poem, “Transported,” was nominated for a Pushcart prize.

Joan’s previous books include: “A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams,” “Here & Abroad,” (winner of the 2010 Cervena Barva Fiction Award) and “Seeking Center.” Her CD, “Transported,” can be found on iTunes. She also blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and is a writing coach.

Joan will be in New York City for two exciting
events so please do come out to see her!

Saturday, April 12th in NYC
at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe – 2pm
With Raymond Nat Turner & Live Jazz
236 E 3rd St, New York, 10009
Phone:(212) 505-8183

Sunday, April 13th
at the Parkside Lounge – 4 to 6
with WNBA SF member Mary Mackey.
Hosted by Great Weather for Media

WNBA-NYC President Jane Kinney-Denning sat down with Joan Gelfland for an interview. Read the whole piece in the upcoming newsletter!

Jane: How long have you been a member of the WNBA? How did you get involved with the organization? What does the WNBA mean to you?
Joan: I’ve been a member of WNBA for 10 years. I learned about the WNBA from a writer friend. The WNBA means community, networking, sharing of information, and a supportive organization that offers collegiality and friendship in the world of books.

Jane: You are the currently the Committee Chair of the WNBA’s National Writing Contest. Can you tell us a bit about the contest and how it supports WNBA members?
Joan: The writing contest was a long time coming! I’m so excited that we’ve just closed our 2nd year and have great winners in both fiction and poetry. As the contest initiator, it was my belief that if we were supporting women in the world of the book, we should be supporting emerging writers as well. The way that it supports members is that the winning writers have their work published in a special contest edition of the Bookwoman, which, as you know, gives them national exposure.

Jane: Congratulations on the recent publication of The Long Blue Room. Can you tell us about this collection of poetry?
Joan: Thank you! I’m very excited about this collection. The work spans a few years – the last of which have been highly turbulent for this country. The book includes poems that address the economic crisis, the environment and the ways in which our attention has been fragmented. I also take a look at the intimate lives of my fellow poets – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Sylvia Plath, Czeslow Milosz and others. I’m also interested in exploring the ways in which we still rely on poetry as a touchstone for our emotional lives, especially when we find ourselves in extremis – in crisis and in joy.

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Read the full interview in the May edition of the NY Bookwoman!

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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