The poems in Chuck Joy’s new collection, Said the Growling Dog, bark and howl with exuberance, wit, and tail-wagging rhythms. They scamper from Erie and Pittsburgh to the Bronx, White House, and Monument Valley. In narrative and lyric modes, they explore the boundaries between imagination and observation, contemplation and action, where every experience presents itself as “a book ready to be written / a yellow fruit that tastes like beer.” Poetry, for Joy, becomes the means by which he appeases the “bear” stalking him at work in one poem and finds the locus of beauty in a crippling blizzard in another. These poems, intended for “all of us, mutts / and blokes,” teach us, touch us, and call us to romp and bound with joy.
—Berwyn Moore, author of O Body Swayed, & Professor, Gannon University
Chuck Joy’s poems carry the reader into a world of yummy golfer girls and inexplicable bears, where an old man says, “that’s called kissing buddy, it’s better than it looks” and every groundhog reminds us of love, a world where the lines and cadences of poems tear themselves from the page and perform on stage, “each line a terrific friend.” This is our world as experienced by a poet who understands that normalcy is fiction. A gentle, provocative, wryly humorous, and moving collection of poems.
— Jack Coulehan, Author, Bursting With Danger and Music, and Senior Fellow, Center for Medical Humanities, Stony Brook University
One of the best books I’ve read this year! Though I’ve been a Chuck Joy fan for several years now, Said the Growling Dog is his best work yet. This dog barks at all the right times and bites in all the right places. If I may steal the poet’s own words from another context, “every line / deserves the same attention // each line a terrific friend.”
— John B. Burroughs, Editor, Crisis Chronicles Press