Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish literary news from around the Web.
Oh, if I were some years younger! What an incredible-sounding program is in the works:
Tent: Creative Writing, Amherst, MA
A week-long seminar in creative writing and literature at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA, June 2–9, 2013. Modeled on the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, this program will be geared toward aspiring and practicing writers. You’ll participate in creative writing workshops with and attend readings given by visiting faculty, including Eileen Pollack, the former director of the University of Michigan MFA program and winner of the 2008 Edward Lewis Wallant Award. In morning sessions, participants will read classics of modern Jewish literature, from Sholem Aleichem to Grace Paley, with literary scholar Josh Lambert (UMass Amherst), and discuss the roles played by Jews in the creation of literary modernism and postmodernism. You’ll also have opportunities to write in a pastoral setting, meet a visiting agent or editor or two, and visit a writer’s home.
Apply by January 13, 2013. (“Who can apply? North American Jews between the ages of 20 and 30, creative people curious about the connections between Jewishness and modern culture.”)
Best of all: This is one of THREE free programs.
I recommend it not only because, in the years since I interviewed him about his prize-winning novel, Kevin has become a friend and valued colleague in the arena of Jewish literary culture (even if we don’t always agree). I recommend it because Kevin is a talented writer whose nonfiction is at least as compelling as his fiction; because his is a voice worth knowing; and because his take on elements of Jewish identity in our time–whether he writes about the circumcision of his son, the culture of the Catskills, or what it’s like to leave Ben Gurion Airport just after the Israeli victims’ bodies have returned there from a terrorist attack in Bulgaria–should reach a wide audience.
If you’d like a taste of the previously published essays that featured in this collection, may I recommend the one titled “The News from Bulgaria”? I suspect strongly that after you read it, you’ll want to learn more about Kevin and his book.