Joy Sullivan, in conversation with Melanie Zanetti, discusses Instructions for Traveling West: Poems

Joy Sullivan

First, you must realize you're homesick for all the lives you're not living. Then, you must commit to the road and the rising loneliness. To the sincere thrill of coming apart.

So begins Joy Sullivan's Instructions for Traveling West--a lush debut collection that examines what happens when we leave home and leap into the deep unknown. Mid-pandemic, Sullivan left the man she planned to marry, sold her house, quit her corporate job, and drove west. This dazzling collection tells that story as it illuminates the questions haunting us all: What possible futures lie on the horizon? What happens when we heed the call of furious reinvention?

A book for anyone flinging themselves into fresh starts, Instructions for Traveling West grapples with loss, loneliness and belonging. These poems teach us that naming our desire is profound alchemy. Each of us holds the power to set our own course forward.

Expansive and heart-opening--exquisite in their specificity, galvanizing in their scope--the poems in Instructions for Traveling West speak to the longing that lives within us all. They remind us that "joy is not a trick." (Dial Press)

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Event Type: 
Instructions for Traveling West: Poems By Joy Sullivan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593597613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - April 9th, 2024