Joy Elan’s interest in writing began in her childhood, as she loved reading stories. She started composing poems as an extension of her love of music. Joy became a spoken word artist – incorporating other art forms into poetry, such as singing, dancing and drama – reading her poems in front of audiences. Joy found inspiration in Teena Marie, a multi-talented artist (singer, musician, songwriter, arranger and producer), watching her perform live at Bay Area concerts. Joy realized that she does not have to be one type of writer or performer.
For Oakland’s Got Talent, Joy performs her original poem “I’m a Survivor” signing in American Sign Language; this poem represents her as a person and as an African American studies major. Joy received her undergraduate degree in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and her graduate degree in Education at Stanford University. Joy Elan is an author of two poetry books: “Signs of Life: Past, Present, and Future” and her new book “Silence Is Not Always Golden: A Poetic Revolution”. She is from Oakland and Berkeley and currently lives in East Oakland by Fruitvale. Joy works with Oakland youth and raises her daughter in Oakland. For more information, go to www.joyelan.webs.com.