Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Quiet Americans Is Required Reading!

There’s something so special about knowing that my work moves educators enough to share it with their students. So an email that I received on Monday—conveyed via my publisher and requesting a desk copy of Quiet Americans—was a wonderful surprise.

This time, students in a class on “Literature of American Minorities” offered within a Michigan university are the ones who are being asked to read the stories. It means so very much to me to know that the book is being included on the syllabus. (And yes, I’ve asked to see the full syllabus so I can see the other books included there. I’m always learning, too!)

An Afternoon at the Ribalow Prize Ceremony

I spent Monday afternoon attending the award ceremony for the Harold U. Ribalow Prize. Presented by Hadassah magazine, this prize was established in 1983 in memory of Mr. Ribalow, a prominent writer, editor, and anthologist of Anglo-American Jewish fiction. As the guidelines note, the Ribalow Prize honors “an outstanding English-language work of fiction on a Jewish theme by an author deserving of further recognition.” Read more about this year’s event and the winning and finalist books over on the Fig Tree Books blog.

Familiar Frustrations

Meantime, I have a new poem that’s even more timely than most timely poems are—it’s a Hanukkah poem! it references an ongoing “news story” in the Jewish world—and so far, I haven’t found a home for it. (I know that many of you reading this have been in similar shoes. You know how frustrating it can be to believe that you have written something good that needs to be shared right now!)

I’m still hoping for a positive response over the next day or so. But I just may end up posting it on the My Machberet blog myself.

To be continued….

6 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Judith says:

    Wishing you good luck with your poem Erika. Here’s an idea, maybe not a brilliant one, but here it is: perhaps Fig Tree Books would consider publishing a collection of your poems? Or yours and several other poets. Eight poets, eight contemporary lights? A reflection on our time?
    Again, best of luck, and a happy Chanukah.


    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Those are great ideas, Judith–but as of now, FTB isn’t publishing poetry. Thank you so much for your encouragement and good wishes!

  2. Leah Hughes says:

    SO happy to see the news on Required Reading for QUIET AMERICANS! Someone in Michigan is very smart!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      I am so honored!

  3. Rabbi Mindy Portnoy says:

    QUIET AMERICANS definitely deserves to be on such a syllabus! I’m always recommending it to people after having used it in an adult education class.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you so much, Rabbi Portnoy!

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