An award winning writer, Joan’s poetry, fiction, reviews, letters and essays have appeared in over eighty national magazines, anthologies and literary journals around the world. Publications include The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, Poets & Writers, the New York Times Magazine, Rattle, The Toronto Quarterly, Kalliope, Eclipse and Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.
An educator, community organizer and writing coach, Joan teaches in the San Francisco Unified School District under the Poetry Out Loud programs. A frequent workshop leader and speaker at writer’s conferences, Joan is the Poetry Liaison for the San Francisco Writers Conference.
The Fiction Editor for Zeek Magazine, and the Annual Chapbook Judge for Poetica Magazine as well as the Adult Poetry Judge for the 2010 Pleasanton Poetry Festival, Joan will complete a 10 city book tour for “A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams” in June 2010.
About “Transported,” a spoken word CD with original music by Marty Castleberg, Composer and Jazz Saxophonist George Brooks writes: “Once again, Joan Gelfand hits the mark with poetry that is witty, insightful, sensual and direct. She paints with such vivid hues that we are at once “transported” and see the world through her sharp, knowing eyes.”
Joan’s poetry collection, “A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams,” was published by San Francisco Bay Press in January 2009.
California State Poet Laureate Al Young writes: “…’In that space between day and night/Romance and expectation loiter.’ Loiter. Yes. On such smooth and well-charged turns, Joan Gelfand’s poems vibrate, shudder or take flight, roaring and purring to safe and not so safe landings in the heart, in the gut. Readers, beware. This is powerful stuff.”
Joan’s first book, “Seeking Center,” published by Two Bridges Press, is endorsed by Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Founder of Everyday Zen and Jane Swigart, author of “The Myth of the Perfect Mother.”
MFA/Creative Writing – Mills College, 1996
BA/English/Creative Writing Emphasis – San Francisco State University
Scene Building with Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenks
Advanced Fiction with Tom Parker, Ellen Sussman and Karen Bjorneby
Publicity Chair – Marin Poetry Center – 2010 – 2012
Zeek Magazine – Fiction Editor, since July 2009
Women’s National Book Association: President 2008-2010
Women’s National Book Association: San Francisco Chapter: President 2004-2006
California Writers Club
World Poetry Society
International Women’s Writing Guild
National Association of Writing Women
California Poetry Society
Photography credit: Mark Bennington Headshots