“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.
In addition to being a gifted poet, Richard Chess is a kind and generous teacher whom I was lucky to encounter back when I was an MFA student. Some months ago, the happy news reached me that a new collection of his work was forthcoming. Love Nailed to the Doorpost, which was released earlier this spring, is Chess’s fourth collection to be published by the University of Tampa Press, after Tekiah (1996), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Third Temple (2006).
A number of the pages in this new volume were familiar to me, because they appeared originally as posts in the Image/Patheos “Good Letters” blog series, and I’ve been following Rick’s contributions there for a long time. At first, I was a bit surprised to find these pieces in the book. I hadn’t necessarily perceived the pieces to be poems when I’d first read and admired them as blog posts. Continue reading ›
Shabbat shalom, everyone. And chag sameach.
Last evening I had the great pleasure of attending a beautiful event that was held at the Jewish Museum in New York. In the final installment of its “Unpacking the Book” series for this season, the Jewish Book Council presented the five finalists for the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize in conversation with Rabbi David Wolpe. The program, which was free and open to the public, was followed by the announcement of who among the finalists had received a fellowship (accompanied by a $5,000 award), a Choice Award (including an $18,000 prize), and the main prize itself: $100,000. (It was also followed by refreshments.)