Photo credit: Liz Denlinger

Joy Ladin

b. 1961

Current City, State, Country

Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Rochester, New York, USA


Joy Ladin has published ten books of poetry, most recently Shekhinah Speaks (Selva Oscura Press, 2022); National Jewish Book Award winner The Book of Anna; The Future is Trying to Tell Us; Something: New and Selected Poems; and Lambda Literary Award finalists Transmigration and Impersonation. She is also the author of a memoir of gender transition, National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life, and another work of creative non-fiction, Lambda Literary and Triangle Award finalist, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, and a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Fellowship, among other honors. She has been featured on a number of NPR programs, including an “On Being” with Krista Tippett interview that has been rebroadcast several times.

Published Works

Shekhinah Speaks (selva oscura press, 2022)
The Book of Anna (revised second edition, with Afterword; EOAGH, 2021)
The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017)
Fireworks in the Graveyard (Headmistress Press, 2017)
Answers to the Name “Lucky.” (Chapbook; Delphi Series #2, Blue Lyra Press. 2016)
Impersonation: Poems 2004-2014 (Sheep Meadow Press. 2015)
The Definition of Joy (Sheep Meadow Press, 2012)
Coming to Life (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010)
 Psalms (Wipf & Stock, 2010)
Transmigration (Sheep Meadow Press, 2009)
The Book of Anna (Sheep Meadow Press, 2007)
Alternatives to History (Sheep Meadow Press, 2003)

The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective (HBI Series on Jewish Women; Brandeis University Press, 2018)
Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012)
Soldering the Abyss: Emily Dickinson and Modern American Poetry (VDM Publishing, 2010)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading


Ph.D. Princeton University, American Literature (2000)
M.F.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Creative Writing – Poetry (1995)
B.A. Sarah Lawrence College, Creative Writing – Poetry (1982)

Subject Matter