Joan Kantor Poetry - Poetry
Holding it Together                                                                      Surviving a Legacy
of Mental Illness

by Joan Kantor

When there is just the thinnest thread of hope, what is it that       keeps someone holding on?

“I tried to squeeze a full life into the spaces between episodes of the illness.” Joan Kantor’s precise, poignant poems and revealing prose weave together an intimate portrait of the struggle to live a vibrant life despite the difficulties of mental illness. In her poem “Building Strength,” she refers to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of embracing damage. In the process of Kintsugi, gold dust is often mixed with the lacquer used in repair. The gold-filled cracks are striking aspects of the bowl’s unusual beauty. This is an apt metaphor for everyone who struggles with mental illness and its legacy.  Holding It Together is a compelling read by a talented writer, and a valuable contribution to the literature of mental illness.
--Ginny Lowe Connors,
 author of The Unparalleled Beauty of a Crooked Line

 Available at


A Memoir in Verse

by Joan Kantor

70 pages, 6'x9' paperback
photo image by Daniel Office
and Joan's Office

Available at:

Her Dream
On a scratched up
hand tinted photo,
barely held together
with crumbling tape,
this proud little dancer,
with arms outstretched,
is daintily holding
up the edges of her skirts,
while balancing tall
on the tips
of her shiny black toe-shoes.
                                                                 With bright eyes
                                                                and hopeful smile,
                                                            of anticipation,
                                                                   in this moment
 of imminent joy,
standing perfectly poised,
she’ll be waiting

The Magic of Moments: from mindfulness to reflection, poems on nature
available on

available on

Too Close for Comfort
available on

Thiis cover image is a photo collage of salt and fresh water marshes. in Cape Cod and Connecticut.   It is a reflection of Joan's love of water and marsh that she expresses through her poetry.Shadow Sounds
poems by Joan Kantor

146 pages, 6” x 9” paperback
Photo collage by Lori Barker and Joan Kantor

AWARD (2011)
Available from Antrim House Books at:

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