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(The National Poetry Foundation)


Poetry in the 21st Century and Radical Faith

The story is well-known: on a forced march from a labor camp in eastern Serbia toward northwest Hungary in October 1944, Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti continues to jot down poems in a small exercise book he carries with him.

The Stronach Memorial
Lecture on the
Teaching of Poetry


"This Bequest of Wings": On Teaching Poetry in a Region of Conflict

Rachel Tzvia Back delivers the Twelfth Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture at the University of Berkeley in California. Her address considers the usefulness of poetry as a bridging element in a classroom of students divided by the conflict of their region. Chana Bloch introduces Rachel.

World Literature Today


"A Species of Magic": The Role of Poetry in Protest and Truth-telling

Israeli poetry of protest is a relatively new phenomenon, even as it emanates from an ancient Jewish tradition of debate and dissent. Rachel Tzvia Back considers the power of poetry in general, and in her region specifically, to protest and speak difficult truths in the face of ongoing conflict and lies.

Marginalia / LARB


The Interim World: The Poetics of Tuvia Ruebner

Rachel Tzvia Back discusses the poetics of Tuvia Ruebner as viewed through the prism of translation theory and practice. The essay discusses the various ways Ruebner's poetry locates itself in the world as verse translation does.

Nashim: A Journal
of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues

(and 2017)

Toward the "Whole Fragment":

An Introduction to Lea Goldberg's Last Poems

This paper borrows the term “whole fragment” from American poet and scholar Ann Lauterbach and utilizes it in a consideration of Lea Goldberg's posthumously published poetry collection The Remains of Life. In contrast to the traditional fragment, which laments in its very presence a lost whole, the whole fragment acknowledges and foregrounds its incompleteness as essential and intrinsic to its own poetic essence and statement. The essay given here is a revised version of the Nashim version, republished as the Introduction to On the Surface of Silence: The Last Poems of Lea Goldberg, HUC Press 2017. 



From Holocaust to Protest: The Poetry of Tuvia Ruebner

On Tuvia Ruebner’s unique trajectory from being a voice of the Holocaust generation to becoming also a poet of protest.

Marginalia / 


Translating Poetry: An Act and Art of Preserving the Essential

After an extended engagement as translator with the poetic oeuvre of Hebrew poet Tuvia Ruebner, leading to the first-ever edition of Ruebner's poetry in English (In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner), Rachel Tzvia Back considers the art, act and ethos informing the translation process. 

The Forward


For Each Day of the Gaza War, These Jewish Women Are Fasting

One block from the Israeli Prime Minister’s house, Jewish women are fasting for 50 days — the 50 days of last summer’s Gaza war. Rachel Tzvia Back takes us inside their protest tent.

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