Joy Magnet, Creative Co-conspirator and Obstacle Obliterator

Meet Joey Garcia

“SN&R’s advice columnist celebrates 20 years with the paper—and shares the heartaches and lessons that led her here.”


In 2014, my poem, “After 9/11,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured on Capital Public Radio. I have received poetry fellowships in Spoleto and Paris, an honorable mention in the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize (selected by Lucille Clifton), the Isadore Paiewonsky Poetry Prize, First Place in the Sacramento Public Library Poetry Contest, and First Place in the Artists Embassy International Poetry Contest. My poetry has been published in Tule Review, Calyx, The Caribbean Writer, Presence, Poetry Now, Convergence Journal, and in several anthologies, including Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets; New to North America: Writing by U.S. Immigrants, Their Children and Grandchildren; The Sacramento Anthology: 100 Poems; Perfect Thirst: Jeffers Room Poetry Series; Death and Transformation, and Bedside Prayers (HarperOne), among others.

Listen to Joey read her Pushcart-nominated poem, “After 9/11.”

Essays and Fiction

My essays have been published in the Challenge textbook (Editora Moderna, Brazil), Love Your Neighbor (limited edition art book by Gale Hart), in the Sacramento News & Review, Sacramento magazine, and on KQED Radio San Francisco. An excerpt from my spiritual autobiography received third place in the Soul-making Keats Literary Competition. My short stories have been published in The Farallon Review and performed as reader’s theatre at Stories on Stage, LitCrawl San Francisco, and NowHearThis.

Listen to a radio essay about Joey’s unexpected response to a young man caught breaking into her home.


My non-fiction book, “When Your Heart Breaks, It’s Opening to Love: Healing and finding love after an affair, heartbreak or divorce,” won a national Bronze Living Now award that recognizes books that inspire people to be more tolerant and forgiving. Published by Bodhisattva Publishers, a company I started, my book was also selected as a Sac State Summer Read and featured in print, radio and television stories.

I’m delighted to announced that I’m now represented by Jennifer Chen Tran of Bradford Literary Agency.


For more than 20 years, I’ve written a relationship advice column for the Sacramento News & Review newspaper. My freelance journalism has been published in Comstock’s magazine, Golden State Report, Government Technology and the Sacramento Bee. I’ve received a First Place Award for Enterprise Reporting and a Second Place Award for Feature Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.


My art has been exhibited at KVIE –PBS TV, Altares del Mundo, Phoenix Galleries, Sac State University, and included in We’Moon International Women’s Calendar.

Relationship Advice