Joy McDowell is a native Oregonian. She was born in Cottage Grove and graduated from the University of Oregon. Her bird illustrations lent color to Birding the Southern Oregon Coast, a guide produced by the Audubon Society.
Joy maintains work space in both the Willamette Valley and on the Southwest Coast of Oregon. Her words and images are informed by those who earn their living with their hands. Her poems, essays and short stories have been published in New York, Texas, Washington and Oregon. Diesel Horse is Joy's second collection of poems. Her first book, Watching the Dragon, was published in 1997. Book reviewer Sharon Ramirez compares McDowell's characters to Ken Kesey's in Sometimes a Great Notion.
Some of her poems have been first place winners in the Oregon State Poetry Association contest. Many of her stories recall life in a small logging town where tragedy and danger were part of daily life. In 2010 four of Joy's poems were published in New Poets of the American West an anthology edited by Lowell Jaeger. The poem "The Rest I Imagine" was awarded an Editor's Choice Award.
Dolphin and Owl