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From My Bookshelf: World Literature Today’s “New Hebrew Writing” Issue

may15cover_thumbIt isn’t every day that I’m inspired to purchase a single issue of a magazine, journal, or newspaper. I subscribe to a sufficient abundance of periodicals such that the tower of books on my nightstand at any moment is equaled by a nearly equally tall stack of periodicals.

But when I saw that World Literature Today‘s special May-August 2015 double issue included a feature on “New Hebrew Writing”–only a small sampling of which was available online–I went ahead and ordered a copy. And I’m glad that I did so.

For the most part. Continue reading ›

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Five Thoughts On Sam Apple’s TABLET Story

red-31980_640“The Butcher of Desire; or Imagining Philip Roth” is a “longform” piece by Sam Apple, recently published in Tablet magazine as part of Tablet‘s “original fiction” series. It is a brilliant piece of writing. I read it days ago, and I am still thinking about it.

Which made me wonder: What is it about this piece that I find so striking? How and why is this work so significant to me?

I’ve come up with five possible answers. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Post from a Practicing Writer

UnknownRecommended Reading

Over on my other blog, I’m singing the praises of Michal Lemberger’s new collection After Abel and Other Stories. If you’re looking for a new book with which to celebrate Short Story Month (May!), you might consider this one. (For anyone consciously trying to “Read Women,” it’s an especially appropriate choice.)


New iPhone!

Okay, so maybe this isn’t directly writing-related, but this week also brought me an iPhone upgrade! I leapfrogged over from my old iPhone4 to a snazzy 6! A lovely little quality-of-life upgrade, I must say. Including a noticeably improved camera. To wit: a photo snapped after a recent run in Central Park. How do you like it?


Dispatch from the Day Job

Last, but by no means least: Things are hopping over at my day job with Fig Tree Books. Just today, in fact, we’ve unveiled our fall 2015 list. You’ll see why I’m so excited about it when you read the announcement.

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From My Bookshelf: AFTER ABEL AND OTHER STORIES by Michal Lemberger

Unknown As per usual, it has been a busy time, and I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like to. But among the few books that I have managed to finish lately is one that still has me thinking: Michal Lemberger’s After Abel and Other Stories (Prospect Park Books).

I’d been looking forward to this book of short stories for months, ever since I read the piece titled “Lot’s Wife” in Lilith magazine. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in a Jewish-writing class myself that shared some parallels with Lemberger’s project in its approach.

So what is Lemberger’s project? In a recent post for the Jewish Book Council’s blog, she explained: Continue reading ›

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From My Bookshelf: Lesléa Newman’s I CARRY MY MOTHER

Earlier this year, I shared one line from a poem by Lesléa Newman (“Sitting Shiva,” which I’d discovered thanks to Keshet/MyJewishLearning.com) as a “Sunday Sentence” on the Practicing Writing blog. Simultaneously, I ordered a copy of the collection in which that poem appears, I Carry My Mother, in which the poet recounts her mother’s dying and her own grief. But it took me until this week to sit down and actually read the book.

It is a searing collection. I dare anyone to read it without shedding tears at least once. (Maybe I suspected that would be the case, and maybe I needed some time to steel myself before engaging with the full collection.)

It is also a remarkably instructive volume for anyone interested in the practice of poetry. And since April is National Poetry Month, it seems appropriate to comment on this quality. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

A New Month, A New Newsletter, and New Hopes for My Poetry Practice

imagesIn case you haven’t yet seen it, the April issue of The Practicing Writer is now available.

Along with the usual hefty serving of no-fee contest listings and calls from paying publishers/litmags, you’ll find within the issue a brief item in which I describe my hopes for giving my poetry practice a kick-start this month and a few links to resources I’m counting on to help in that endeavor: the 2015 Poetic Asides PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge; the Poetry Super Highway Prompt-A-Day for National Poetry Month; and NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). Continue reading ›

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