Joan Kantor was born and raised in New York City, whose cultural richness has been a great source of inspiration. She graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Education and then went on to live and teach in Europe for several years, where she traveled extensively. After receiving her Master’s Degree from Antioch University, Joan became a learning disabilities specialist and counselor at Manchester Community College, where she continues to work. Married to her childhood sweetheart, she has three grown children and two granddaughters. She currently lives on The Farmington River in the charming village of Collinsville, Connecticut. Joan’s passions for people, nature, traveling and the arts merge in the poetry that she has been writing for most of her life. She has been published in numerous journals, most recently in The Avocet, Earth's Daughters, Minerva Rising, Caduceus and Theodate, and has presented on poetry in The Hartford Public Schools. Her work is represented in Visions Voices and Verses, based on the collection at The New Britain Museum of American Art. Her first collection of poems, Shadow Sounds, (Antrim House 2010) and was a finalist in that year's Foreword Book of the Year Award contest. Joan has just published her second collection, Fading Into Focus, a mother-daughter memoir in verse that focuses on family relationships and Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia. Joan won first place for poetry in The 2013 Hackney Literary awards and recently took First Place for poetry in the 23rd Writer's Digest Self-published Book Awards. An earlier version of this memoir made the SHORTLIST for THE FISH SHORT MEMOIR PRIZE 2014. She was also a FINALIST in Poetica Magazine's 2013 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards Contest. Her next two collections, Holding It Together and The Magic Of Moments will be published in 2016. Her chapbook Too Close for Comfort was recently accepted for publication by Aldrich Press. Joan has been a poet-consultant for The Hill-Stead Museum's Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and has been both a judge and mentor in its Fresh Voices youth competition. She has also been a mentor in the Poetry Out Loud program. Joan's work has been represented in several ekphrastic shows, including at The Ethel Walker School and ArtSpace and she has participated in several Open Studio events, including Open Studios Hartford. She and Linda Beers, a violinist with The Hartford Symphony Orchestra, perform in Stringing WordsTogether, where weaving back and forth between classical music and poetry, they passionately share their vision of how the arts enhance one another. Joan is also a member of The International Academy for Poetry Therapy and through The Healing Word and Writing Your Self, she offers individual and group expressive writing sessions in healthcare facilities, community centers, senior centers, independent/assisted living programs and through continuing education.