Part memoir, part humorous and poignant defense of poetry, this is a book that shows you what it is to live a life with poems at your side (and maybe in your Topo Chico®).
Megan Willome’s story is one you won’t want to put down; meanwhile, her uncanny ability to reveal the why’s and how’s of poetry keeps calling—to even the biggest poetry doubter. If you already enjoy poetry, her story and her wisdom and her ways will invite you to go deeper, with novel ideas on how to engage with poems.
A great title for retreats, poets & writers’ groups, and book clubs. Or, if you’re a teacher who has ever been asked, “Why poetry?”, this book is the ready answer you’ve been needing.
Includes extras like how to keep a poetry journal (this is not just about putting poems in a journal), how to be a poetry buddy, and how to take a poetry dare.
Words About The Joy of Poetry
“Megan Willome’s The Joy of Poetry is not a long book, but it took me longer to read than I expected, because I kept stopping to savor poems and passages, to make note of books mentioned, and to compare Willome’s journey into poetry to my own. The book is many things. An unpretentious, funny, and poignant memoir. A defense of poetry, a response to literature that has touched her life, and a manual on how to write poetry. It’s also the story of a daughter who loses her mother to cancer. The author links these things into a narrative much like that of a novel. I loved this book. As soon as I finished, I began reading it again.”
—David Lee Garrison, author of Playing Bach in the D. C. Metro
In The Joy of Poetry, Megan Willome describes the bed she made up in her son’s room after he went away to college: a sheet set the color of daffodils, a comforter like cumulus clouds, and sky-blue pillows. Sometimes she sleeps in there, she writes, and when she does, “it’s all sun.” That’s also how the author views reading and writing poetry, as the sun that breaks through the gloom of her mother passing away from cancer, the “multiple gift” that can offer healing, purpose and inner strength, as well as a musical and emotional soundtrack to life and and its ultimate end. What Willome offers readers in this easily-consumed treasure, chock-full of digestible poems and quotes framed by the memoir of her mother’s diagnosis and treatment, is how to do likewise. As a creative writing teacher of middle and high school students, this has been my philosophy exactly, and I’m delighted to find someone who has put it into words. Willome’s pages are invaluable, and I know The Joy of Poetry will be required reading in my classes for a long time to come.
–Jen Karetnick, author of American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016) and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016)
Megan Willome’s The Joy of Poetry—part memoir, part poetry reflections, part anthology—takes readers on a journey to discovering poetry’s purpose, which is, delightfully, nothing. “Why poetry?” Willome asks. “You might as well ask, why chocolate?” Poetry reflects nothing more and nothing less than the pure joy of living, loving, and being, in all of its confusion and wonder. Willome’s book will gently guide you to read, write, and be a little more human through language’s mystery and joy.
—Tania Runyan, author of How to Read a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem “Introduction to Poetry”
Read an Interview with Megan at WACOAN
“Willome describes poetry: ‘I’m getting a chance to read something where every word has been picked with care. And every line break has a reason. To me, that’s what you’re getting from poetry. Small but really, really good. Some of those images or maybe just a line, sometimes it’s just what I need, something I want to hold on to.’”
A Reader’s Art, Inspired by The Joy of Poetry
Painting by Nancy Marie Davis