A vivid and inspiring poetry collection about what’s possible when we heed our instincts and honor our intuition, allowing ourselves to strike out for new territories of love, pleasure, and peace.
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.”
New York Times bestselling author of And Yet and What Kind of Woman
“Empathetic, honest, and intimate.”
New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful
“Here, we see a woman feeding herself—light, bread, joy. This book is going to be a beloved companion by so many readers.”
“A blistering, tender reflection on desire and delight that will soak right into your skin.”
“Joy Sullivan will make you want to live the way Mary Oliver makes you want to live.”
New York Times bestselling author of Quit Like a Woman
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