Joy is a poet, playwright and writer. Born in Belize, raised in Alberta and North Vancouver, Joy also lived in London, England for many years. Her writing explores the convergence of history, memory, and the present, as well as the tensions between grand and small narratives. She currently lives in North Vancouver.
Joy’s poems and writings have been published in various journals and anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, Canadian Literature, Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature, IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, and Beyond the Pale: Dramatic Writing from First Nations Writers and Writers of Colour. Her writing also appears in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry, which was launched in Vancouver as part of Black History Month in 2013. Her first play, Days of Old, is a site-specific PodPlay which focuses on Hogan’s Alley, the location of Vancouver’s first black community, and was part of PodPlays 125 (Neworld Theatre and PTC) for Vancouver’s 125th anniversary celebration.
While in London, Joy played in the Afro-Brazilian band Afro-Bloco, worked in community arts, and as an assistant producer and researcher for television documentaries such as American Master’s Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story, Pump Up The Volume, a history of house music, and the BAFTA-nominated, The Hip Hop Years.
Joy’s art and writing is inspired by her mother and father who showed her the power of words, the world of color, and the gift of courage and compassion.
Links to Joy’s writings
‘Drown’, Canadian Literature: canlit.ca/poems/21585
‘Survivor’, Canadian Literature: canlit.ca/poems/21586
‘Postscript 02 – Joy Russell on Gaye Chan – Chimaera’: artspeak.ca/exhibitions/text_detail.html?text_id=46
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