Current City, State, Country
Birth City, State, Country
Janlori Goldman is a poet, teacher, and activist. Her second poetry book, My Antarctica, was published by Finishing Line Press (2022). Bread from a Stranger’s Oven, her first collection, was chosen by Laure-Anne Bosselaar for the 2016 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Gerald Stern chose her poem “At the Cubbyhole Bar” for the Raynes Poetry Prize, and Janlori’s poetry has been published in The Cortland Review, Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Connotation Press, Calyx, Gertrude, The Sow’s Ear, Contrary, Naugatuck River Review, The Stillwater Review, WORDPEACE, Rhino, and featured as “Poem of the Week” in Split This Rock.
With Cheryl Boyce-Taylor and Yesenia Montilla, Janlori co-founded The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry, www.thewideshore.org, and worked with Paris Press on the publication of Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill” paired with a long essay by Woolf’s mother. She has published essays on the work of poet Alicia Ostriker, filmmaker Barbara Hammer, and other artists and writers.
After many decades as a civil rights lawyer, Janlori now works at the Center for Justice at Columbia University, and teaches social justice, literature, and writing. She volunteers as a writing mentor for people with cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?
I was raised in a very small synagogue in New York as an observant. However, my grandparents’ identities were more complex. Most of them were Jewish refugees from the programs in Russia, and their experiences deeply informed how I grew to approach the world: for the most part, they were atheists, socialists, anti-zionists, and distrustful of authority. As a young teen, I wanted to be a rabbi, but at that time women were not accepted into Rabbinical school. What persists for me is a complex historical tie to Jewish culture, traditions, language, food, and values—often simultaneously entwined. What abides are habits of critical thinking and argument, always looking beneath and behind a thing, to examine and confront what is presented as given.
My Antarctica (Finishing Line Press, 2022)
Bread from a Stranger’s Oven (White Pine Press, 2016)
Links to Sample Works
Macalester College, 1979
Hofstra School of Law, 1984
Sarah Lawrence College, MFA, 2009