My second poetry collection, If There Were Roads, is being published by Turnstone Press and is now at the printer's. I'm over the moon and especially delighted to be with Turnstone, a fabulous press I've long admired from afar. (Literally – they're in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and I'm all the way away in Whitehorse, Yukon.) The poems in the collection emerged out of a nostalgia for all the places I've ever lived and my slow evolution into a Canadian immigrant fulfilling a dream to go north. These poems are about the places I've lived in or been to but really they're as much about the people and the animals I lived with or found in those places.
This is what's being said:
Guided by the geography of land and mind, the familiar and the unknown converge in If There Were Roads by Joanna Lilley. Pulled like the tide between the sea and the shore, If There Were Roads drives toward new vistas while reflecting on what has been lost in the process of moving forward. Lilley’s poems explore the paths we take from here to there when there are no roads to guide us.
‘Joanna Lilley claims in her poem “Two Ghosts” that “it wasn’t supposed to be about the people,” yet that is exactly what If There Were Roads is about—people and what they do to the bodies of animals; people on journeys accompanied by ghosts, and myth, and crows; people both lost and at home. Lilley’s journey takes us into the cycles of the seasons where certainty exists only in acute observation and reflection. If There Were Roads is haunting and luscious, full of place and heart.’
—Micheline Maylor, Little Wildheart
‘Poems of place and displacement, of leaving home and finding home, move seamlessly through inner and outer landscapes in Lilley’s lively, evocative collection. Arresting and captivating, If There Were Roads is poetry brimming with new ways of seeing.’
—Catherine Graham, The Celery Forest