SHIRIM: A Jewish Poetry Journal
Poems of Jewish Bible and Folklore
Including Commentaries and Midrashim
This double issue of SHIRIM, published in association with Dryad Press, follows on the Thirty-Year SHIRIM Retrospective, also edited by Merrill Leffler. In that issue, Leffler selected poems that he organized around different “sources” Jewish poets draw from naturally – for this issue, he focused on two of those sources, the Bible and Jewish folklore. His interest was to gather poems that “reflect different ways these sources manifest themselves.
By "ways" he writes in the introduction, he meant how poets use these sources, whether as subjects in themselves, as allusions, as midrash, or as symbols for self-exploration and a writer’s poetics, "namely the different modes of composing, from more traditional meditative and narrative poems to those that might still be called experimental, among them, Rachel Blau DuPlessis Draft34:Recto and Jerome Rothenberg’s The Likht Variations.
Leffler’s aim was “to bring together diverse kinds of poems, from the mimetic and linear, where meaning is paraphrasable, to the improvisational and non-linear, where exploration of the capacity of language maybe the meaning in itself – no interpretive “translation.”
A number of the twenty-four poets contributed commentaries or midrashim. While they range widely in scope and length, each is illuminating in its own particular way, for instance, Linda Zisquuit on how she uses biblical and midrashic stories, Myra Sklarew in her self-searaching meditation, and Tom Mandel’s unique take on the well-known conflict between the first century rabbis, Hillel and Shammai.
Poems of Jewish Bible and Folklore Including Commentaries and Midrashim
Edited by Merrill Leffler
Published by SHIRIM:
A Jewish Poetry Journal
in association with Dryad Press
72 pp., 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
On SHIRIM: A Jewish Poetry Journal
Marc Steven Dworkin is the Founding Editor of SHIRIM, A Jewish Poetry Journal. For the past thirty years, he has sought poetry from around the globe that reflects the tensions, contradictions and marvels of Jewish experiences. “This search has always been guided,” he writes, “by the understanding that these poems are windows into Jewish culture and thought.” The late Stanley Chyet, a founding advisor, described SHIRIM as “poetry of Jewish reference.” No attempt was made to create a single or dominant point of view – the poems that have appeared in its pages are the thoughts and reflections of the creative mind looking at the Jewish experience. Towards these ends, SHIRIM has published poetry from Israel, England, Canada, France, Romania, Poland and many other countries -- from Yehuda Amichai, Haim Gouri and Shirley Kaufman to Grace Schulman, Carl Rakosi, Stanley Moss, Irving Layton. Sources of Jewish Poetry gives a glimpse into Marc’s achievement with SHIRIM over these thirty years
Many libraries carry SHIRIM, among them, university libraries, for example, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Iowa, Wisconsin and Texas, public libraries in New York, Cincinnati and Los Angeles, and the libraries of Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary and American Jewish University.
Back Issues of SHIRIM
Selected back issues of Shirim are available – of special note is the Fifteenth Anniversary that focuses on the American Jewish experience through poems and personal reflections.
Back issues of SHIRIM, A Jewish Poetry Journal
Poets & American Jews: A Collection of Poetry & Personal Reflections, Fifteenth Anniversary Issue
The focus is on American Jewish poets and includes personal reflections by Grace Schulman, Carl Rakosi, Stanley Moss, Daniel Mark Epstein, Robert Mezey, Deena Metzger, Myra Sklarew, and Jerome Rothenberg. $10
An Homage To Yehuda Amichai
Published after Yehuda Amichai’s death, this double issue includes translations by S.F. Chyet and Warren Bargad from all of Amichai’s books as well as a radio play, The Day Martin Buber was Buried, translated for the first time by Yaffa Weisman. $9
Israeli Love Poetry
Edited by Moshe Dor and Barbara Goldberg, this issue contains established and younger poets wrestling with love in Israel. $9
Israeli Women Poetry
Edited by Miriyam Glazer, this issue includes poems by Lea Goldberg, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Yona Wallach, Nava Semel, and many others. $9
The Poetry of Eytan Eytan
Translated and translated by Merrill Leffler and Moshe Dor, this issue is a wonderful collection by Eytan Eytan who died from cancer in 1991. $7
Psalms of the Jewish Liturgy
Miriyam Glazer’s creative translations give us new insight in the poetry of the Psalms. $7
70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht
In 2008, Charles Fishman edited an issue of poems on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht that includes Louis Daniel Brodsky, Denise Levertov, Marilyn Kallet and others. $7
British Jewish Poetry
Peter Lawson edited this wide-ranging issue that includes poems by seventeen poets, among them, Daniel Abse, Elaine Feinstein, Jon Silkin, Michael Rosen, and Daniel Weissbort. $9
Jewish Canadian Poetry
Seymour Mayne edited this issue that includes work by twenty of Canada’s finest poets, including Leonard Cohen, Elizbeth Brewster, and Susan Glickman. $9