Joy Elan is from Oakland and Berkeley, California. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and her Master of Arts degree in Education at Stanford University. She was born with a hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since she was 15 months. Despite the obstacles she faced, she overcame many of them and continues to overcome obstacles. Her mother always told her that she had three things against her: Black, female, and disabled. Joy Elan went through life prepared for what she would face and has smiled throughout everything she has been through. She is currently working with urban youth in the San Francisco Bay Area.
About her book, Silence Is Not Always Golden
The Power of Spoken Words is a collection of poetry that is defying the norm. Written words have power because anyone can refer to them. However, spoken words are more powerful because the words are brought to life once they leave the body or a piece of paper. Instead of writing what people want to hear, I wrote what people need to hear. The truth! Sometimes the truth can be beautiful and sometimes it can be ugly. My words and my voice are my weapons and I have to speak up on my beliefs. Other people may not feel as powerful to speak up so I speak up for them. I could not sit there and not say anything. I was taught that you cannot do what everyone else wants; you have to do what YOU want. To be YOU is as original as there can be and people will try to put you down because you are different. I say try because only YOU can let them. My words are my way of fulfilling my purpose because I am making my dream a reality and I am showing you that you can do the same. This edition is slightly different from Silence Is Not Always Golden: A Poetic Revolution because there are clean versions of the poems and a few new poems that were written after I published it.