Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, Sept. 2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in ESPN, The Atlantic, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Poets & Writers, among others. She is currently a doctoral student in the Literature & Creative Writing program at the University of Houston.
In her writing, she interrogates Black Southern identity, race and history in America, and aspires to June Jordan’s assessment that “the role of the artist is to make revolution irresistable.” Her first collection focused heavily on place, particularly that of her hometown Louisville, KY.
Priest is a former athlete who enjoys playing and watching basketball, running, and staying strong. She has also been known to do an amateur stand-up set, play the bass at a beginner’s level, sing, dance, and garden. She’s probably leaving something out.
Some of her all-time favorite writers and thinkers are, Edward P. Jones, Nikky Finney, Toni Morrison, Aime Cesaire, Angela Davis and Jesmyn Ward.
Lately, she’s been reading or returning to Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, Heaven is All Goodbyes by Tongo Eisen-Martin, Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison, Unity & Struggle by Amílcar Cabral, and america, MINE by Sasha Banks.
Her forthcoming debut, Horsepower can be found here: upittpress.org/books