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From My Bookshelf

Sulak_GidaliLast week I had the great pleasure of attending a celebration in honor of Marcela Sulak and her new translation, Twenty Girls to Envy Me: Selected Poems of Orit Gidali (University of Texas Press). Sulak is another writer I’ve become acquainted with online. She is the author of three collections of poetry and three earlier book-length translations. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University, where she is an associate professor of English. She also hosts the weekly “Israel in Translation” podcast on TLV1 FM, which you’ll see listed on the My Machberet blogroll.

The evening gathering in New York was absolutely lovely. And I was able to purchase a copy of the new book, which I greedily read this weekend. Continue reading ›

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From My Bookshelf: A DOOR WITH A VOICE by Katie Manning

A-Door-with-a-Voice-CoverI’ve become acquainted with Katie Manning and her work via the Poetry Has Value project, where we’re both contributing bloggers. And that is how I learned about her new poetry chapbook. Titled A Door with a Voice and published by Agape Publications/Sundress Publications, this work comprises 16 poems. (And you can download it at no cost!)

Before you reach the poems, you find this artist’s statement: “I am tired of people taking language from the Bible out of context and using it as a weapon against other people, so I started taking language from the Bible out of context and using it to create art. My process was to use the last chapter from one book of the Bible as a word bank for each poem. This is either the most heretical or the most reverent thing I’ve ever written.”

This approach piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

Have spent a lot of time these past several days thinking of Elie Wiesel, who died Saturday at the age of 87.

ElieWiesel

I was in his presence three times: first, attending a 1986 lecture of his following the Nobel prize announcement; next, at a much smaller event, a lunch during my senior year of college (shortly after I’d written a paper that quoted frequently from his book From the Kingdom of Memory); and finally, just a few years ago at a New York City fundraiser (again, a large event). I’ve read much (but not enough) of his work. And over these past several days, I’ve been reading many of the tributes. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

A Notable Reprint

I’m honored that Jewish Journal chose to re-publish my poem, “Questions for the Critics,” in last week’s edition, coinciding with Israel’s Independence Day.

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(Special thanks to Afshine Emrani, M.D., for taking this photo from the print issue and sharing it on Twitter!)

Invite Me!

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

the-blue-card-logoBlue Card on My Mind

An article in Saturday’s New York Times titled “Holocaust Survivors’ Needs Become Acute With Age” (that’s the title in my print newspaper; online, the headline reads, “As Holocaust Becomes More Distant, Survivors’ Needs Intensify”) seemed acutely well-timed to me, for a couple of reasons.

First, we’re approaching Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which (according to the Hebrew calendar), will be observed next week. And second, I’ve recently sent in my Q1 donation, based on sales of Quiet Americans, to The Blue Card. I’ve spoken before about why I remain committed to sharing portions of sale proceeds with The Blue Card, but this is an appropriate time of year to give the organization another shoutout for the essential work that it does.

Also in My Thoughts Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Tally_marks-Five-bar_Gate.svgTally-ho!

Over on Poetry Has Value, Jessica Piazza has been posting March stats/tallies from her participating bloggers. I encourage you to read them all. There’s a lot of good stuff in what everyone is sharing.

But if you’re in a hurry to find this practicing poet’s particulars, you can proceed directly to this post. Continue reading ›

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