Inching Towards Joy – Garfield Hillson

Garfield Hillson’s project for the 2023 Jack Straw Writers Program is a collection of poems that explore what it means to practice joy in a world that is constantly trying to take it away from marginalized people. In his conversation with curator Priscilla Long, he talks about why he decided to investigate joy in his poems, the ways he is inching towards hope, and where he sees his work in 10 years. “There’s been so many times where I performed sadness and grief and pain. . . . I don’t want that pain in my body to be honest, right? I don’t want that stress that it does to you, no matter how well it performs. I’m like, what would it feel like, to actually like, hold joy in your body?”

Music by Bryan Smith, produced through the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.