Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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: 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.
  • 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!

    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    CvLD6ILWgAAVzL8A Night at the New York Society Library

    Last Wednesday evening found me at the New York Society Library, where I participated with other Library members in reading from our recent work. With a five-minute limit, I read three poems: one that was recently published; one that was recently accepted for publication but has not yet appeared; and one that continues to seek a home (how’s that for a euphemism to replace “has been rejected 25 times [and counting]”—yes, that is an accurate tally, not an exaggeration). To be fair to myself, however, that poem has received one of the most amazing rejection notes I’ve collected over all these years of writing and sending out my work. (And speaking of tallies—and rejections—there’s a new batch of updates over on the Poetry Has Value site, including one from me.)

    The Library always does such a beautiful job hosting these evenings (there is food! and wine!), and I’m always inspired by so much of what other people share. This reading was also memorable because I brought a small fan club: my mom, and my close friend Rachel Hall, who was in town for events connected with Heirlooms, her new book. (more…)

    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    heirloomsHeirlooms Has Arrived!

    One of this week’s highlights: the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of Heirlooms, the debut collection of linked stories by my friend Rachel Hall. This is a gorgeous book (yes, go ahead and judge this one by its cover!).

    You’ll discover more about Heirlooms and its wonderful author in the October issue of The Practicing Writer, which should be going out in just a couple of days. (Rachel will be the featured Q&A participant.)

    In the meantime, however, I recommend that you read this terrific interview, published on Saturday over on The Rumpus. (more…)

    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    checklist-1316848_1280I Did It!

    It doesn’t feel as though I’ve “accomplished” much, writing-wise, over this past week, but in the spirit of Lisa Romeo’s annual “I Did It!” lists, I’ll share a few things that I have managed to do over the past seven days.

  • Finished reading Robin Black’s wonderful Crash Course: Essays from Where Writing and Life Collide.
  • Began editing the Q&A (with Rachel Hall, author of Heirlooms) that will appear in the next issue of The Practicing Writer.
  • Began reading an advance copy of Alexandra Zapruder’s Twenty-Six Seconds, in preparation for a future Q&A.
  • Had a phone call with a program manager who might—might!—report back soon with good news about a way for a rejected AWP panel to find new life offsite next February in Washington.
  • Filed my August stats and updates for Poetry Has Value. (Not sure when they’ll be posted, though.)
  • Kept to the day-job’s blogging schedule and posted a new installment in our series of features spotlighting books that have won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. (Up this month: Eileen Pollack’s In the Mouth: Stories and Novellas.)
  • Drafted some remarks about Quiet Americans and practiced them for a panel event taking place tomorrow.
  • (more…)