Survivor of the Heights
Joy Leftow is a writer born and raised in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, where she still lives. Leftow grew up with a less - than - ideal family life, which taught her many lessons from a unique angle. Having lived her entire life in an area which has always been comprised of ethnic minorities and is now predominantly Hispanic and African-American give her a unique perspective and the advantage of seeing poverty from the inside out in addition to experiencing the differences in several cultures outside of her own.
After dropping out of high school and living for some time on welfare as a single mother, Leftow restarted her education under the auspices of the New York State Higher Education Opportunity Program and obtained a B.A. from Columbia University. She continued her studies and obtained a postgraduate Masters of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University in New York City, and in 2001 earned her M.A. in Creative Writing from City College of New York.
Leftow has been active in the New York City poetry scene since 1993, frequently reading at poetry evenings at CBGB's, the Wetlands, Cornelia Street Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, the Back Fence, Palmer Vineyards and the Paris Cafe and making appearances on local public radio shows, such as Poetry Central, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Everything Goes, The Sounds of Poetry on Adelphi Radio on WBAU-FM, Jazz Poetry Café with Phillip Gregory on WFLO, Cool on the Groove on Rockland World Radio Program and on the television show, The New Yorkers. She also organized and hosted the Spoken Word Event at the 4th and 5th Annual Uptown Arts Stroll event in 2006 and 2007. A few of Leftow’s numerous publishing credits can be viewed at Poets & Writers website.
Leftow has been performing on the New York poetry scene for some time and has published A Spot of Bleach, a book of poetry and prose. Her story, Foolish Pride, came out Spring 2007, in an all female anthology called The Lipstick Diaries from Augustus Publishing. Joy writes and gets her work published when she is not busy doing cat rescues and meeting her muse.
Leftow is a clinical social worker proficient at understanding character. She uses these skills when describing characters. Writing from her own experiences and those of her close friends, Joy focuses a new light on the wacky, humorous, and sometimes painful adventure of “Life in the Big Apple.”
Leftow's first book,A Spot of Bleach & Other Poems and Prose (Big Foot Press, 2006), was praised by the Aquarian East Coast Rocker (March 15-22, 2006 issue) as "bringing a bold energetic humor to the matters of everyday life. Growing up in a not so “Leave It To Beaver” household, she reflects on her relationships with family members and friends with more sarcasm than you could find in a whole season of “Seinfeld.” Her prose is like a catchy tune, keeping the reader engaged within every line and pause, allowing her words and loud voice to linger around in your head. Her observations and analysis of human nature represent the cynicism with which we think but never have the guts to say out loud."