Poetry

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Collection
Tova Ricardo at a spoken word performance at a conference in 2021.

I’m a Black Jewish Woman and I’m Tired of Being Called “Angry”

Tova Ricardo

I refuse to choose between being a “good woman” or a woman who will not be intimidated, belittled, or silenced.

Roya Hakakian’s first book, Journey from the Land of No, is published

August 1, 2004

Author and poet Roya Hakakian was born in Tehran in 1966 and fled Iran with her family in 1985, seeking asylum in the United States. Hakakian is the author of two collections of Persian poetry, an acclaimed memoir, and essays on Iranian issues.

Lesléa Newman

Lesbian feminist writer Lesléa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. Inspired by Newman’s friend, a lesbian mother who complained that there were no children’s books with families that looked like hers, the book sparked national controversy. Newman has written countless books for children, adolescents, and adults on homosexuality, Jewish identity, eating disorders, and AIDS.

Achy Obejas

Writer, translator, and activist Achy Obejas was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 and moved to the United States with her parents six years later. She is known for stories with characters and themes related to gender, queer sexuality, Cuban-ness, and Jewishness, as well as migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Aurora Levins Morales

Aurora Levins Morales is an author, artist, activist, and historian whose work as been critical to third-wave feminism, Puerto Rican and Latinx feminism, disability justice, radical Judaism, climate change activism, and grassroots. organizing.

Ruth Behar

Award-winning cultural anthropologist Ruth Behar has conducted groundbreaking research in Spain, Mexico, and her native Cuba. Her innovations in cultural representation have transformed ethnographic writing and reached a broad, non-academic audience through her film, poetry, personal essays, and young adult fiction.

Marjorie Agosin

Marjorie Agosín is an award-winning Chilean Jewish poet, memoirist, novelist, literary critic, editor, educator, and human rights activist. Her work, which she writes in Spanish, is widely translated into English and other languages. She is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Wellesley College.

Myriam Moscona

Myriam Moscona is a Sephardic Mexican poet, novelist, journalist, and translator. She is the author of Tela de sevoya/ Onioncloth, an award-wining novel about the Sephardic experience, reflecting on death and Ladino, and Ansina (Like that, 2015), a book of poetry entirely written in Judeo-Spanish.

Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet whose legacy is key to the history of Jewish, American and lesbian literature. Klepfisz is also a pioneer of the recovery of Jewish and Yiddish women’s writing, to which she has dedicated translations, research, teaching, and activism.

Alejandra Pizarnik

With a vast body of work that includes books of poetry, prose works, essays, and diaries, Alejandra Pizarnik (Argentina, 1936-1972) stands out as one of the most important and influential figures in twentieth-century Latin American poetry.

Mahinarangi Tocker

New Zealand singer-songwriter Mahinaarangi Tocker (1955-2008) was best known as a Maori musician, but her Jewish heritage was an essential component of her identity and her music.

Erica Jong

Erica Jong is an American writer most famous for her bestselling novel Fear of Flying (1973). Sometimes controversial in her role as a media celebrity, Jong has published novels, poetry collections, memoirs, works of literary criticism, and literary anthologies, most often focusing on the explicit expression of women’s sexuality and neglected or untold stories of contemporary and historical women.

Zohra El Fassia

Zohra El Fassia was a renowned singer and recording artist in twentieth-century Morocco. Her life story moves between the burgeoning colonial recording industry in the Maghrib to North African immigrant histories in the south of Israel. El Fassia’s soulful music and powerful persona have resonated with generations of artists and activists who look to her for the unheard stories of Jews in the Arab and Muslim world and of Mizrahi Jews in Israel.

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is the Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College, a prolific poet, and a central figure in transgender theology. Her numerous written works reframe classical Jewish theological questions from a transfeminist perspective.  

Ana María Shua

Ana María Shua is an Argentine writer and screen writer who is internationally known as a specialist in short stories, in particular micro fiction tales, which are stories of just two or three lines of extension. She is well known in the Hispanic world as the Queen of the Microstory and employs her writing to narrate various aspects of the Jewish experience.

Cora Wilburn

Cora Wilburn was one of the most prolific American Jewish women writers of her time. Much of her work appeared in secular and Spiritualist publications, but during her final decades she published poetry in Jewish publications. Her autobiographical novel, Cosella Wayne, published serially in 1860, is the first coming-of-age novel to depict Jews in the United States.

Nancy Florence Keesing

Nancy Keesing was an influential figure on the Australian literary scene, not only as an author, editor, and critic, but also as an advocate and administration. She wrote poetry and ensured the preservation of nineteenth-century Australian songs and rhymes.

Denise Levertov

The author of nineteen books of poetry as well as several books of essays and translations, Denise Levertov was a world-renowned poet. She was also a prominent political activist, particularly in the anti-war and environmental movements.

Ethel Rosenberg Mugshot, 1951

“On Conspiracies and Conspirators”: How Adrienne Rich’s Poem Resonates Today

Deborah Dash Moore
Dory Fox

What can we learn from Adrienne Rich's 1981 poem for Ethel Rosenberg?

Topics: Poetry

Louise Glück

Louise Glück, American poet, essayist, and educator, is the recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as numerous other awards for her writing; she also served as poet laureate of the United States from 2003 to 2004. One finds the personal, the mythological, and the Biblical woven intricately throughout Glück’s oeuvre.

Tamara Kamenszain

Tamara Kamenszain, born in 1946, was a highly regarded Argentine poet. She was also a literary critic especially interested in avant-garde poetry and in questions of gender in literary expression. Women’s experience and Jewish identity are among the themes of her poetry.

Mina Fridman Ruetter

Mina Fridman Ruetter (1922-2003), an Argentinean-born Jew, was the most prominent leader of the Yiddisher Kultur Farband (YKUF) beginning in the 1970s. She studied and worked as a writer, teacher, and translator in organizations linked to the Communist Party and the Soviet Union. She was a highly visible leader and the disciple of YKUF intellectuals such as Pinie Katz and Samuel Gordon.

SoundMachine Blog Cover

Rachel Zucker on Her Book "SoundMachine"

Rachel Zucker

Author Rachel Zucker reflects on her new book, SoundMachine.

Topics: Non-Fiction, Poetry
Apples and honey

High Holiday Poems

Maia Evrona

Exclusively for JWA, poet Maia Evrona shares two poems for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Audre Lorde, Meridel Lesueur, and Adrienne Rich, 1980

Poetry as Protest: Adrienne Rich Fought for All Women

Abigail Glickman

Rich once said, “In a time of frontal assaults both on language and on human solidarity, poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing–disturb us, embolden us out of resignation.” In other words, poetry has the power to express the things that unite us all as humans and can inspire us to work together toward a common goal.

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