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The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1441188793
ISBN-10: 1441188797
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Since the anthology features more than 110 poets, it's impossible to mention all the poems that spoke to me. The best part of the work was being introduced to new and unfamiliar writers. ‘The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry' would make an excellent textbook for a literature class and belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in Jewish American poetry.” ―Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter

About the Author

Deborah Ager is the author of the poetry collection Midnight Voices, founder of 32 Poems Magazine, and co-editor of Old Flame: The First 10 Years of 32 Poems Magazine. She's received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and was both a Tennessee Williams Scholar and a Walter E. Dakin fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Many poems first appearing in 32 Poems Magazine have been honored in the Best American Poetry and Best New Poets anthologies and on the Verse Daily and Poetry Daily websites. Ager directs the Joaquin Miller Poetry Reading Series in Washington, DC, edits for Redux, and is board member of 32 Poems Magazine.

M. E. Silverman, editor of Blue Lyra Review, moved from New Orleans to Georgia to teach at Gordon State College. His work has appeared in over 65 publications including: Crab Orchard Review, 32 Poems, Chicago Quarterly Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, StorySouth, Yellow Medicine Review, BatterSea Review, Neon, Many Mountains Moving, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Los Angeles Review, Mizmor L'David Anthology: The Shoah, Cloudbank, The Broad River Review, Pacific Review, Because I Said So Anthology, Sugar House Review, and other magazines. M. E. Silverman was a finalist for the 2008 New Letters Poetry Award, the 2008 DeNovo Contest and the 2009 Naugatuck River Review Contest. He is a member of the board of 32 Poems.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (September 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441188797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441188793
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Barbara Daniels on November 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
There’s much to praise in this new anthology—many less-familiar voices as well as established, widely- published, award-winning poets, all born after World War II. Here are poems about baseball, a baby’s first sweet bite of applesauce, planting trees in Israel, pursuing Judaic studies in Lincoln, Nebraska, lighting yahrzeit candles, playing klezmer music, and taking part in a dance class for twelve year olds preparing for bar mitzvah season. Poems on ancient texts, Gertrude Stein, Jerusalem, sleepwalkers, Yiddish proverbs, space travel, and Yom Kippur are included as well as poetry on many other subjects, both sacred and secular.

Among the book’s delights are the many women writers, more than half of the 112 authors, a welcome improvement over past anthologies of this type. “I want to learn / the shape of faith,” Yvette Neisser Moreno’s poem claims, and the aesthetic in this anthology is broad enough to include “God of all secular Jews who lean / toward Buddhism, give me the skill and poise to play / that elegiac Bach line with fluidity,” lines from a poem by Elizabeth J. Coleman.

When Nomi Stone takes up the subject of “The Fall of the First Temple, 586 B.C., Jerusalem,” she says of the temple priests that
they must learn to make
a meadow a temple, an act or an absence of
an act, a temple. They weep and then
become their altar.

This necessity, to make anew, informs this collection. For example, Jacqueline Osherow writes about composing a wonderful Yiddish poem though she doesn’t speak Yiddish:
It’s even a question
whether God Himself
can make out the text of my Yiddish poem.

Readers won’t face the difficulties Osherow humorously ascribes to God. Most of the poems are in accessible free verse.
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