Basically, Night Ringing is my life story, from my childhood, growing up in New York City, my father a former POW under the Japanese, then a prominent physician; my three older sisters, two of whom suffer serious mental illnesses; my parents’ divorce when I was nine; my first marriage, to a Moroccan actor; my second marriage, to a film professor, native of Poland, survivor of the Holocaust; the dissolution of that marriage after twenty years; the raising of our three children, one of whom has autism, as a single mother, after his death; the discovery of my attraction toward women and subsequent lesbian dating experiences.
Often I write as a way to distance myself from the pressure of reality. When the emotion is too strong to bear, or I can’t make sense of it, until I begin to unravel it, through words. So, the poem is a way through, a way to understand what I am going through. Often or perhaps always I do not know the end of the poem when I begin it… the poem is teaching me something that I did not know. A process of discovery.
And I write for the joy of it. I have often written poems that express sadness, and then felt the joy when it is completed, especially when someone else reads it and responds to it with recognition, recognizing their own despair and their feeling of gratitude for the connection.
Laura Foley is the author of five poetry collections. The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Joy Street won the Bi-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review and in the British Aesthetica Magazine. She won Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award and the Grand Prize for the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest.