New Literary Journal from Israel: The Arava Review

A sincere “todah rabah” to Tova Gardner, co-founder of The Arava Review, for telling me about the new Israel-based journal:

From the Web site:

We’re looking for excellent works of poetry, fiction, and visual art. Though you don’t have to be previously published, do send us your best work.

A few words about the Arava (Arava Rift Valley): An area in southeastern Israel that divides the Negev Range from the Edom Mountains to the east. The meaning of Arava is “arid wilderness”. Its first known reference is in Deuteronomy 1:1: “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the desert east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.”

These are our first few weeks online. We’ve begun receiving submissions and are excited to put up content, so please submit!

Submit, read, and enjoy!

Israeli Authors at the PEN World Voices Festival

The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature is coming soon: late April/early May. Most events are taking place in New York City, and some are free and open to the public.

Several events feature Israeli authors Meir Shalev and David Grossman. Check out the following:

April 27, 2009: Meir Shalev: The State of Israeli Literature
April 30, 2009: Meir Shalev in Conversation with Daniel Menaker
May 3, 2009: Conversation: David Grossman and Leonard Lopate
May 4, 2009: See Under: Love: David Grossman on Bruno Schulz

Update: Apparently, I missed a couple of relevant events when I put this post together. Apologies to all. Here, thanks to Naomi Firestone and the Jewish Book Council, is the full roster.

Introducing Gila Green

This blog’s site statistics reveal that a number of people find their way to My Machberet because they’re searching for information on creative writing in Israel. Which makes me especially pleased to introduce you to Gila Green, a writer who grew up in Canada and moved to Israel in 1994. She holds an MA in English Literature, with a major in Creative Writing, from Bar Ilan University, and has published work in multiple genres (including a number of short stories).

Gila’s blog will tell you lots more about her writing, and it will also fill you in on her workshops and lectures for creative writers. (In an e-mail, Gila told me that she has a particular interest in “bridging the gap I see between religious and non-religious writers.”)

I’m going to be visiting her blog frequently. You may want to, as well.

More Resources for Reading and Writing

Many thanks to Naomi Firestone for posting “A Word from the Israeli Literary Front” last week during the Jerusalem International Book Fair. The post highlighted two resources I’m passing along to you.

First, check out Fiction is Real, the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Book Club Resources for Israeli Fiction. It provides reading group guides to works of Israeli literature available in English.

And then, for those who may be writing in Israel, check out The Studio. Situated north of Netanya, it is author and translator Evan Fallenberg’s center for writers and readers of English.

Sandee Brawarsky’s Spring Books Preview

In the current Jewish Week, Sandee Brawarsky previews a number of Jewish-themed titles coming to libraries and bookstores near you this spring. And there are a number of intriguing volumes forthcoming.

There will be new tomes from established names like Dara Horn, Amos Oz, and Aharon Appelfeld. A translation of Jonathan Littell’s prizewinning Les bienveillantes (“The Kindly Ones”). Something that’s absolutely going on my tbr list: Shulamit Lapid’s Valley of Strength, coming from the ever-reliable Toby Press. And plenty of nonfiction, too.