2024 Jewish Poetry Conference: Conversation & Reading: Eleanor Wilner & Alicia Ostriker

July 2, 2024: 1:30-2:45 pm ET

Poet, translator, scholar and activist Eleanor Wilner has received many honors, including the 2019 Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America for Lifetime Achievement and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1991-1996). Her eighth and most recent collection, Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems 1975-2017, is a remarkable rewriting of the myths of life and art by one of the most vital and original voices in American poetry. Wilner’s work is far-ranging and widely anthologized, and she has participated in a number of multi-disciplinary collaborations in music and dance. On the faculty of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College for thirty years, Wilner makes her home in Philadelphia, though she has been Visiting Writer in Hawaii Iowa and Japan, and at the University of Iowa, Northwestern, University of Chicago and Smith College.

Alicia Ostriker is a New Yorker by birth, third generation atheist socialist Jew who enjoys arguing with God (THAT kind of atheist) currently living in NYC with her longtime husband. As a poet she has published 19 books, including two explicitly focused on Jewishness, “The Book of Life” and “The Volcano Sequence.” As a critic she is the author of “Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America,” and several other books on poetry and on the Bible, including “The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions,” a combination of midrash and autobiography. She was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets 2015-2020, and New York State Poet 2018-2021.