2024 Jewish Poetry Conference: Contributors Reading

July 5, 2024: 1:30-2:45 pm ET

Ayelet Amittay is a poet and psychiatric nurse practitioner in Oregon. Her first book, The Eating Knife, will be published by Fernwood Press in 2025. Her poems appear in Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Rattle, and others.

Rabbi Suzanne Brody is the author of both multiple books of poetry and a historical fiction novella. In addition to her published collections, Suzanne’s poetry has featured in newsletters, prayer books, and conference summaries. Her writing is infused with her passion for her family, education, and Judaism. In addition to writing, Suzanne has worked in both formal and informal Jewish educational settings. She serves as the Director of Ithaca Beit Midrash, where Jewish learning that touches the heart, mind, and soul is for everyone.

Hannah Butcher-Stell is a Writing MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, holding a bachelor’s degree in English from Rollins College. You can find her co-authored fiction in Sky Island Journal, Newfound Journal, and The Headlight Review. Meanwhile, her poetry has also appeared in Poets.org, Sequestrum, and No, Dear. She currently works as Poetry Editor of Lumina, Sarah Lawrence’s literary journal, and Communications Manager for Daily Giving, a growing Jewish nonprofit.

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Meigs Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, is the author of The Creative Ethnographer’s Notebook (2024), the poetry book, Imperfect Tense (2016) and five other books on the arts of language and education. Recipient of six NEA Big Read Grants, a 2023 NEA Distinguished Fellowship, Hambidge Residency Award, and the Beckman award, her poems have appeared in Georgia Review, Bitter Southerner, Lilith, Poet Lore, Barrow Street, and elsewhere.

Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including Mom Egg Review, Redivider, One Art, Minyan, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Plainsongs. In 2023, she won the Massachusetts Poetry Festival’s First Poem Award, and in 2021 and 2022 received Pushcart nominations. In 2021 and 2023, she was longlisted for the Sappho Prize and New Millennium Poetry Award. Her first full-length poetry manuscript was a finalist for Harbor Editions’ Laureate Prize (2021), the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award (2023), the C&R Press Poetry Award (2023), and the Louise Bogan Award (2024).

Rabbi Mark Elber was ordained by ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2012. He is the rabbi of Temple Beth El, an independent Conservative synagogue in Fall River, MA where he shares the pulpit with his wife, Cantor Shoshana Brown. A fellow of Rabbis Without Borders and the author of The Everything Kabbalah Book, Mark is a certified teacher of Jewish meditation through Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley, California, a prize winning poet (e.g. Beat Museum Poet of the Year, 2007), translator of Israeli rock songs (one of which appeared on MTV Europe), and a published songwriter having fronted his own bands in the downtown Manhattan music scene in the early 1980’s. Mark did his graduate studies in Kabbalah at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and University of Pennsylvania from which he also holds a B.A. in Philosophy. Mark is very involved in interfaith activities in the greater Fall River area. He is also the author of “The Sacred Now (Cultivating Jewish Spiritual Consciousness).” Mark was the winner of the 2022 Henry Morgenthau III Poetry Prize for his first book of poems, “Headstone.”

Valerie Bandura is the author of Human Interest (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) and Freak Show (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), a runner-up for the Brittingham and Akron Poetry Prizes and a 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and others. She served as the Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow at Warren Wilson College and received the James Merrill Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, a residency from Bread Load Writer’s Conference, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. She teaches writing at Arizona State University.

Tzivia Gover is an author and Certified Dreamwork Professional. Her most recent book, Dreaming on the Page: Tap into Your Midnight Mind to Supercharge Your Writing, combines writing, spirituality, and dreamwork. Her poems have been published in dozens of journals and anthologies including Pensive, The Mom Egg Review, The Naugatuck River Review, and Lilith Magazine. She shares her poetry and reflections as she reimagines the life of the biblical matriarch Sarah in her Substack newsletter, “The Life of H” (https://tziviagover.substack.com)

Josh Jacobs grew up in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Amherst College with a BA in English in 1991. He earned a PhD in English at Rutgers in 1997 for his study of Adrienne Rich’s poetic ethics, studying with Alicia Ostriker. After teaching as a lecturer at Rutgers, he transitioned to academic administration roles, first at Harvard and since 2003 at MIT. Josh won the 2023 Common Ground Review Poetry Contest, selected by Oliver de la Paz. His poetry has also appeared in Pangyrus, Right Hand Pointing, and Jewish Literary Journal. He lives in Newton, MA and has three daughters.

Anne Myles is the author of Late Epistle, winner of Sappho’s Prize in Poetry (Headmistress Press, 2023), and What Woman That Was: Poems for Mary Dyer (Final Thursday Press, 2022). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and been nominated for multiple Pushcarts and she was a winner of the 2022 ellipsis Award. Anne is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Northern Iowa and holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Greensboro, NC.

Lesléa Newman has created 86 books for readers of all ages including the dual memoir-in-verse, “I Carry My Mother” and “I Wish My Father,” the novel-in-verse, “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard,” and the poetry collections, “Lovely” and “Still Life with Buddy.” Her children’s books include, “The Babka Sisters,” “Joyful Song: A Naming Story,” and “Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed.” She has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, two National Jewish Book Awards, two American Library Association Stonewall Honors, and an Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award. From 2008 – 2010, she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA.

Jane Saginaw is the author of Because the World is Round, a memoir that recounts a family trip around the world in 1970 with her mother who used a wheelchair because of polio paralysis. She is a student in the Ph.D. Program in Literature at the University of Texas at Dallas. Before returning to graduate school, Jane was a trial lawyer with Baron & Budd in Dallas, Texas. Her essays and poetry have appeared in Athenaeum Review, Image, D Magazine, and PB Daily.

Cindy Savett is the author of Child in the Road, The Breath, and the chapbooks: The Story of my Eyes, Battle for the Metal Kiss, Rachel: In the Temporary Mist of Prayer, and Overtures of Survival. Her work is in the anthology, Challenges for the Delusional, and forthcoming in Poetry is Bread Anthology. Savett was educated at Gratz College and The University of Pennsylvania. The sudden death of her daughter generated a reckoning in her poems. For the past two decades Savett’s poetry focused on grief, leading her into establishing poetry workshops for psychiatric inpatients at several area hospitals. Her current work examines the spiritual relationship between the “I” and the “Other”.

Robin Silbergleid is the author of the poetry collection The Baby Book (CavanKerry Press, 2015) and the memoir Texas Girl (Demeter Press, 2014), and several chapbooks; she is also co-editor of Reading and Writing Experimental Texts: Critical Innovations (Palgrave, 2017) and Infertilities, A Curation (Wayne State UP, 2023). Her work-in-progress, The Old Country, explores her family’s immigration from the place they called Russia (now Ukraine) at the turn of the twentieth century. She is Professor of English at Michigan State University.

Amy Small-McKinney’s second full-length book of poems, Walking Toward Cranes won The 2016 Kithara Book Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2017). Her most recent chapbook, One Day I Am A Field, was written during COVID and her husband’s death (Glass Lyre Press, 2022). Her newest full-length, & You Think It Ends, will be available early 2025. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, for example, American Poetry Review and Banyan Review and are forthcoming in Tahoma Literary Review. Her poems have been translated into Korean and Romanian. She is a poet laureate emeritus of Montgomery County PA and currently resides in Philadelphia.