I’ve mentioned the poetry of Yehoshua November in blog posts before, generally within link roundups. But I’ve just had the chance to read November’s new collection, Two Worlds Exist. And even if I don’t feel equipped to write a full-fledged review of this (or, frankly, any other poetry book), I want to draw your attention to this beautiful volume. (Especially at the start of the #Readukkah celebration!)
These are poems about prayer, and marriage, and parenting (and parenting a child who has a disability). And loss. Some are spare; all are powerful.
Reading this collection–which I did in a single sitting–I was struck anew with the realization of how “diverse” Jewish literature is, not merely in comparison with writing that reflects other traditions and cultures, but also within itself. November’s Judaism is not quite the same as my Judaism, and so along with the proverbial and familiar “mirrors” that I discovered as I read there I also encountered, perhaps more importantly, many quietly dramatic “windows.”
Here are just a few places online where you can find a few of the poems that appear in this book: Continue reading ›
Technically, they’re words from last week. But it’s never too late to eavesdrop on a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Saul Friedländer. Thank you, New York Public Library, for making this available.
“Every day we are learning how to speak up and face down hatred. Last year, my son’s middle school learned what happened on April 20—Hitler’s birthday. The seventh grade boys sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Hitler during lunchtime. After this happened we learned from my son that the song leaders had been making anti-Semitic comments and telling ‘Holocaust jokes’ in my son’s presence. My son is one of four Jewish-identified kids in his school. While the principal immediately disciplined the students who sang, I met with the principal to make it clear how we interpreted these incidents. This was not merely bullying. When a group of students tells another that his community should have been wiped out in the Holocaust, that is terrorizing.”
Source: an important, timely essay by Francine Green Roston, “What It’s Like Being a Jewish Family Who Lives in Montana,” on Kveller.
Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.
“I didn’t set out to write a political novel, but it seems inevitable that any writing about the Middle East will elicit strong responses from people.” So notes Leah Kaminsky, whose novel The Waiting Room is set largely in Haifa, in an interview on the Lilith magazine blog.
“Fictionalizing my family’s [Holocaust] stories—and adding magical realism—set me free. And set my imagination on fire.” So explains Helen Maryles Shankman in a reflective, craft-centered post for Writer Unboxed.
J-Job alert: JewishBoston.com is hiring an Editorial Content Specialist.
TBR: a translation, by Steven M. Kennedy, of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s The Genius of Judaism. Coming in January 2017.
And last, but not least: the latest Fig Tree Books newsletter, edited by yours truly and featuring some superb pre-publication praise for Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year (coming in March 2017) and other choice information.
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Shabbat shalom! And one quick note: I’ll be taking a bit of a break from this blog while I embark on some travels. Expect to see me back here sometime the week after next. Thank you for your patience!