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Kisufim 2009: The Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers and Poets

The good news: Just yesterday, I found out about Kisufim 2009: The Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers and Poets (courtesy of the Foundation for Jewish Culture e-newsletter).

The bad news: Just yesterday, I just found out about Kisufim 2009: The Jerusalem Conference of Jewish Writers and Poets.

You see, this conference is slated for December 7-10, 2009. As in: next week. As in: way too late for me to arrange a trip to Israel around it. I have been very much focused on finding a literary-oriented event around which to plan my next trip to Israel, and this would have been fantastic.

Here’s a description of what I’ll be missing:

“The significance of Jewish creativity, in Israel and throughout the world, is increasing during a period characterized by a Jewish absence from post-Holocaust Europe. Also evident is the need for close, unmediated contact between contemporary Israeli and Jewish literature worldwide.

The conference provides a venue for an experiential encounter and for clarification of textual and cultural issues concerning the writer’s identity, focusing on questions such as the meaning of Exile today, the identity of text and place and the function of translation in a literary work with a Jewish identity and the change that Jewish literature has undergone from the Second World War and the establishment of the State of Israel to the present. It is no coincidence that the Hebrew acronym for this gathering is Kisufim (yearnings). Jerusalem has been the heart of yearning in Jewish literature for many generations. We have a special opportunity to continue the process that began in 2007 with the first Kisufim Conference by gathering for four days and nights at Mishkenot Sha’ananim and Beit Avi-Chai, with the participation of the best Jewish literary creators in today’s world, in various languages, to discuss literary works with a Jewish connection and identity.

This international meeting of Jewish creative writers encourages encounter between Israeli creativity – in Hebrew and other languages – and world Jewish creativity that is both multilingual and multicultural.

The Conference will include poetry and prose-reading evenings, workshops and meetings with poets and writers in various languages, as well as meetings among writers and poets who share a common language, such as Russian, English, French, Hungarian, Serbian and Spanish, from Israel and all over the world.

The Kisufim Conference seeks to elucidate and reinforce ties with various types of Jewish literature and increase public awareness of literary issues. By bringing together the creative and intellectual powers of Jewish writers, poets and publishers, wherever they may be, it reinforces mutual ties and increases translation efforts.

The international writers are: Miriam Anisimov (France), Jonathan Rosen (USA), Dara Horn (USA), Rodger Kamenetz (USA), Linda Grant (UK), Marcelo Birmajer (Argentina), Ilan Stavans (Mexico/USA), Emmanuel Moses (France) Robert Schindel (Austria), Esther Bendahan (Spain), Lucette Lagnado (Egypt/USA), Lisa Ginzburg (Italy), Geza Rohrig (Hungary/USA), Angel Wagenstein (Bulgaria), Alessandro Piperno (Italy) and Norman Manea (Romania/USA)

The list of Israeli writers include: Aharon Applefeld, Hava Pinhas-Cohen, Dov Elbaum, Nava Semel, Asaf Inbari, Michal Govrin, Yehoshua Sobol, Eli Amir, Rafi Veichert, Yoel Hoffman, Eshkol Nevo, Meron C. Izakson, Menachem Lorberbaum, Roni Somek, Yisrael Pincas, Itamar Yaoz-Kest, Tal Nitzan, Yisrael Eliraz, Haviva Pedaya, Admiel Kosman, Zeruya Shalev, Eyal Megged, Yochi Brandes, Hagit Grossman, Sabina Messig, Ori Bernstein, Anna Shomlo (Serbian), Linda Zisquit (English), David Markish (Russian), Peter Cole(English), Karen Alkalay-Gut (English)”

There’s a full program you can download at the site for further information.

Anyone going? Want to write a guest post for this blog? Please contact me if so.

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