April 15, 2011
updated October 26, 2011
Thank you for visiting this site, which was created in December, 2010 mostly in order to tell you about "A Lily Lilies," which Leah Stein and I just completed. Leah runs a dance company in Philadelphia that you can find here. I live in the 4 corners region of the Southwest near the Navajo Nation, where I've worked for going on 11 years.
Lilies is my third book and Leah's first.
"Lilies" is a different kind of book, sui generis, of poems for movement and notes for dance that have been eight years in the making. I wrote the poems, Leah wrote the notes on dance. The book would have been a clunkier piece of work without Leah, who personifies lightness and grace, while I am rough-edged, a carpenter of tangible things that don't move.
The book was just published by Nightboat Books in February 2011. Excerpts of "Lilies" may be found here.
I'm told that a web presence is necessary nowadays for people to find you, or you need to travel and read to people, which I find very hard to do.
Someone told me recently that a writer or artist shouldn't hide, you should stand out there in front of your work, and I think that's right.
People need to know who they are reading.
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I live far from family and old friends. My job on the Navajo Nation takes me often through the high desert. After it rains, the earth seems to rotate as you drive, even on straight highways. Momentarily, the desert is covered in green fur.
I'm of peranakan descent, and am a youngest daughter once expected to look after her parents in their old age, but who now lives thousands of miles from them.
I used to look so sad that I could wander about New York City at all hours, doing different jobs when I was undocumented, and never get hurt. Once a man came up to me flashing a knife at 3 a.m. but took a good look at me, put his knife away, straightened up and said, "Smile, honey, you're the saddest thing I've ever seen."
I have a lot of stories to tell about being "underground," and trying to learn how to be above ground.
My work now on the Navajo Nation involves learning ways to continue living a traditional non-western culture within a western society. This has been a lifelong theme.
I am in a solid phase of my life.
Please visit the stories page now and then. So far, there are only stories from the early 1990s. Meaningful stories require courage to run and fall and then to fall off a cliff, which I haven't had for many years but will try again.
The "Pix & Misc." page will slowly fill.
As a young woman, I grubbed quite a bit in different jobs, and tried on different skins a lot just to get a clue.
My husband and I met in Dirty Frank's in Philadelphia in the fall of 1996. We came out west in 2000 for a 3-hour cruise and married that year in Flagstaff, witnessed by a toothless puppy, Molly, who is now eleven years old.
(Left: Richard with Molly and a new puppy, Orso).
I make cabinetry/furniture in the workshop with the yellow doors, and write till very late. It's 2:30 a.m. now.
My English Professor used to say every story has already been told; we just shade it differently. I believe these shadings of ours are part of old, old patterns of original thought.
Josey Foo attended on scholarships and has degrees from Vassar College, Brown University, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a recipient of Literature Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, both in 2001. She was undocumented from 1986 - 1990. She lives in Farmington, NM.
Josey and Cook-Cook, Farmington, New Mexico