2023 Inaugural Conference: Discussion Panel: Writing Contemporary Midrash
Heather Altfeld is a poet and essayist. Her two books of poetry are “Post-Mortem” (Orison Books, April 2021) and “The Disappearing Theatre” (Poets at Work, 2016). Her work is featured in the 2019 Best American Essays, Conjunctions Magazine, Orion Magazine, Aeon Magazine, Narrative Magazine, and others. She was the 2017 recipient of the Robert H. Winner Award with the Poetry Society of America and the 2015 recipient of the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She teaches in the Department of Comparative Religion and Humanities at CSU Chico, and is at work on a collection of essays.
Dan Bellm lives in Berkeley, California. His five books of poems include Counting (2023), Deep Well (2017), and Practice: A book of midrash (2008), winner of the 2009 California Book Award. Poems have appeared in The Best American Spiritual Writing; 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium; and many other journals and anthologies. Recent translations of poetry include Central American Book of the Dead, by Balam Rodrigo (2023) and Speaking in Song, by Pura López Colomé (2017). Most recently, he taught literary translation and poetry in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.
Nan Cohen’s books are Rope Bridge; Unfinished City, winner of the Michael Dryden Award from Gunpowder Press; and a chapbook, Thousand-Year-Old Words (Glass Lyre Press, 2021). Her poems and prose have appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Electric Literature, Journal of the American Medical Association, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, Tikkun, and elsewhere. The recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she is chair of English at Viewpoint School and co-directs the poetry programs of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. She lives in Los Angeles.
Sharon Dolin is the award-winning author of seven books of poetry, most recently Imperfect Present. She is also the author of Hitchcock Blonde: A Cinematic Memoir, and two poetry books in translation from Catalan, most recently Late to the House of Words: Selected Poems by Gemma Gorga, winner of the Malinda A Markham Translation Prize and shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize. An NEA Fellowship recipient, Fulbright Scholar, Pushcart Prize Winner, and recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, Dolin is Associate Editor of Barrow Street Press and lives and teaches in New York City.
Jessica Greenbaum’s third book, Spilled and Gone, was chosen by the Boston Globe as a Best Book for 2021. She also a co-editor of Tree Lines: 21st century American Poems (Grayson, 2022), and the first ever poetry haggadah, Mishkan HaSeder (CCAR, 2021). A recipient of awards from the NEA and the Poetry Society of America, she teaches inside and outside academia, including, for over eight years, at Central Synagogue where she pairs the teaching of traditional Jewish text with contemporary poems. https://poemsincommunity.org/
Poet and anthropologist Nomi Stone is the author of three books, most recently the poetry collection Kill Class (Tupelo, 2019), finalist for the Julie Suk Award and the ethnography Pinelandia, finalist for the Atelier award (University of California Press, 2022). Stone’s poems appear in The Atlantic, POETRY Magazine, American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The Nation, and The New Republic. She is an Assistant Professor in Poetry at the University of Texas, Dallas and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at Princeton. Stone has won a Pushcart, a Fulbright, and conducted fieldwork across the Middle East and the United States.