Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish news, primarily of the literary variety, from around the Web.

  • Jonathan Gondelman’s thoughtful review of a translation of Hans Keilson’s Life Goes On, in Jewish Ideas Daily.
  • Among the many recent appreciations of Edward I. Koch, my favorites include pieces by two writers I’ve admired for a long time: Jeffrey Goldberg and Thane Rosenbaum.
  • On Tablet, Jew-by-choice Jamaica Kincaid discusses her new book.
  • An intriguing list: “Top 25 Literary Classics About Israel.”
  • Remember this Keshet contest? The contest has produced The Purim Superhero, a new children’s book published by Kar-Ben. See this article from The Jewish Week all about this book featuring Nate, “a Jewish boy with two dads,” and the book’s author, Elisabeth Kushner.
  • Shabbat shalom.

    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish news, primarily of the literary variety, from around the Web.

  • I’m going to have to reread this article about Jewish-American poetry – I somehow can’t quite buy the suggestion that “all poetry is Jewish.”
  • “In honor of the centennial of Abraham Sutzkever’s birth, SLS Lithuania is proud to announce a poetry translation contest, to be judged by Ed Hirsch.” Note that there is an entry fee for this contest. “The winner will receive a full scholarship at SLS Lithuania, as well as a $500 travel stipend. The winning entry will be translated into Lithuanian, and read at a celebration in Vilnius on the centennial, on July 15, 2013.” (via The Forward)
  • In the latest issue of their online journal, the fellows from LABA: House of Study “take a close look at the intersection between food and power and how Jacob used his knowledge of this connection to pull off one of the biggest heists in Jewish tradition.”
  • I missed what looks to have been an intriguing event at the Center for Jewish History on the subject of Jewish participation as “culture brokers” in publishing-the book trade. Luckily, there’s video from the evening, which I hope to watch this weekend.
  • Et tu, National Geographic?
  • Shabbat shalom.


    It wasn’t that long ago that I mentioned new courses being offered under the auspices of the Tikvah Fund. I also mentioned that I’d applied for admission to one of those courses.

    I’m delighted to share that I have been admitted to the course I applied for: “Zionist Thought and Statesmanship,” taught by Professor Allan Arkush. (I was also tempted by Dara Horn’s “When Bad Things Happen to Good People: Divine Justice and Human Creativity in Jewish Literature,” but that course meets during the day, and I couldn’t swing that with my work schedule.)

    If you’re curious, the syllabus for Professor Arkush’s course is online. I can’t wait to get started!

    My Year in Jewish Books (2012 edition)

    Last year, I found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2012.

    Reviewing my reading for 2012 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, I define “Jewish books” as books with substantive Jewish content/themes. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as particularly Jewish. I read several of those books this year, too.)

    But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.

    Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them. (more…)

    Talking About Poetry (and Israel) on the Radio

    If you’re reading this before Sunday morning, November 25 (around 9 a.m., Eastern time), you still have time to prepare to catch me on the radio! I’ve been asked to appear on Shalom USA Radio to read my poem, “Questions for the Critics,” and talk a bit about its genesis. I’m looking forward to this opportunity (even if I’m slightly terrified to be broadcasting live). If you want to listen in, you can do so here. Please wish me luck!