Joy Gaines-Friedler


Farmington, MI
Michigan US

Author's Bio

A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, Joy Gaines-Friedler is the author of three collections of poetry, Like Vapor, Dutiful Heart, and Capture Theory. She holds an MFA from Ashland University, Ohio. Joy teaches for non-profits in the Detroit area, is currently or has taught at the Lapeer Correctional Facility, Freedom House Detroit for refugee/asylum seekers, Common Ground, a core provider mental health organization, InsideOut Literary Arts that puts established writers into Detroit Public Schools, Springfed Arts, and as a visiting writer at universities. She also runs workshops from her home. Author statement:

"Now, I have returned to burn my diaries..." Poetry, all writing can be transformative, perhaps in the same way reading can. My second full length collection Dutiful Heart speaks to what transforms us including, joy & sorrow. It speaks to the way the heart remains true to itself in the most trying of circumstances (the mother's decline into dementia, a community seeing more of it's options in the military than in civilian jobs, the memory of, and like, the "bullet blast through a cardinal" of domestic violence....)These things are what my poetry speaks to. I've done readings all over the U.S. I teach workshops for well established writers, and for communities "at risk". Because writing or reading a poem is a transformative thing I bring it to the work I do with young adults, victims of abuse and even parents of murdered children. To ask someone to write three things they saw today, things as seemingly benign as a shoe in the road is to ask people to look a bit closer at their world. By looking closer, paying attention to what we see, we pay attention to ourselves.

Publications & Prizes

Poetry in Michigan in Poetry (New Issues Press, 2013)
The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (Bloomsbury USA, 2013)
Bigger Than They Appear (Accents Publishing, 2011)
Capture Theory (Kelsay Books, 2018)
Dutiful Heart (Broadkill River Press, 2013)
Like Vapor (Mayapple Press, 2008)
2 Bridges Review
A&U Magazine
Art & Understanding
Big Scream
Controlled Burn
Driftwood Review
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Hazmat Review
Kentucky Review
Lilliput Review
Litchfield Review
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Pebble Lake Review
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Poetry Review
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The Bear River Review
The Broadkill Review
The Jewish Journal
Third Wednesday
Writer's Digest
Prizes won: 

The Litchfield Review Poetry Prize for a Series of Poems (based on the journal of friend who died from AIDS). Multiple Pushcart Prize nominee. Winner of the Margo Lagattua Poetry Prize, Poetry Society of Michigan. Honorable Mention, The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. First Place, The Tom Howard Poetry Prize. Winner of the The Marjorie J. Wilson Award for Excellence in Poetry. 

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Those who pick up pen to paper and shake things up.

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Raised in: 
Detroit, MI
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Last update: Nov 17, 2019