March 5, 2023:
“Masquerading: A Purim Poetry Work(play)shop,” led by Jessica Jacobs & Richard Chess

A Reading & Conversation with Alan Shapiro

Both the workshop and the reading are free. However, donations to support Yetzirah: A Hearth for Jewish Poetry are appreciated and encouraged.

Masquerading: A Purim Poetry Work(play)shop

An in-person generative workshop led by Jessica Jacobs & Rick Chess
Open to experienced poets as well as those with little or no experience.

1:30-3:30 pm ET
Purim: a Jewish holiday on which one may experience the power of masking one’s identity as a means of discovering, releasing, revealing one’s true self. In the
megillah, the scroll on which the book of Esther is written, Queen Esther hides her identity (in Hebrew, the name Esther means “hidden”) as means of saving herself and the Jewish people. In this workshop, we’ll practice putting on masks of biblical characters and other important figures in Jewish life and writing in their voices to see what we might discover about ourselves and others by doing so. We’ll look at several examples of persona poems written by Jewish poets and then, inspired and guided by those poems, we’ll write our own.

A Reading & Conversation with Alan Shapiro

This hybrid event can be attended in-person or viewed via Zoom. Registration is needed for both types of attendance.

4-5 pm ET

Alan Shapiro is the author of fourteen books of poetry, including his most recent book Proceed to Checkout. A memoirist, essayist, translator, and novelist, as well as a poet, Shapiro has received the Kingsley Tufts Award, an Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, two awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Guggenheim fellowship, the O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., the Sarah Teasdale Award from Wellesley College, and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is Professor Emeritus at UNC Chapel Hill.


Both events are generously hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC-Ashevillle.

OLLI at UNC Asheville
300 Campus View Rd
Asheville NC, 28804

For more information about the workshop and/or reading, please write to [email protected].