Dynamic Woman — Changing Times
Book Review: Soma Song by Joy Willow
But first, a review of the Great Valley Bookfest
I ran into local poet Joy Willow at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca. I read her poetry collection, Soma Song, a couple of years ago. Our encounter reminded me that I had neglected to review this little gem. So, a few words about the Bookfest, a couple comments about reviews, and then I will sing Soma Song‘s praises.
A book festival is a community gathering centered on books. Book festivals usually feature local authors who set up display tables, chat with readers, and (hopefully) sell a few books. Authors and industry professionals give presentations throughout the day. Vendor and food booths provide additional opportunities to shop and eat. It’s a trade show meets county fair experience.
With five years’ experience under its belt, The Great Valley BookFest is a standout. The focus on children and literacy lifts it above the traveling flea market affair some festivals have become. The community support for this event is evident from the brightly tee-shirted volunteers who aid and abet the authors at every turn to the enthusiasm of the crowd.
You get a flavor for a community when you attend a local event. Manteca reads! That was evident. Children designed the bookmarks that advertised the event. They talked with authors and made careful book purchases.
Teachers gave students extra credit for volunteering at the event. A young girl sat in on my presentation on good literary citizenship and took notes. A class assignment perhaps, but she participated fully, writing down the name of her favorite book on a 3x5 card and exchanging it with another another person. They had a nice chat.
And now, my review of Soma Song
In the spirit of good literary citizenship, I am doing more book reviews these days. In my presentation, I encourage readers to say something when they read something good. Review under-promoted books. Help those books find their audience.
Soma Song graced my nightstand for a season. I used this collection of poems as a devotional, reading one per day. Reading poetry as a spiritual practice invites readers to slow down and savor each poem in this exquisite collection.
Intoxicating song might define this lovely work. Like Biblical poetry, each selection draws us into an experience at once human and divine. I love that!
This slim volume of poetry is a perfect tonic for weary souls who need an invitation to rest and reflect.
© Sydney Avey