Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Sunday Poet: Nina R. Alonso


  Nina Rubinstein Alonso, editor of Constellations, has published in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, Sumac, Avatar, Women-Poems, U. Mass. Review, and New Boston Review, among other places, and her first book This Body was printed by Godine Press.She taught English literature at Brandeis University and U. Mass., Boston, while continuing training in ballet and exploring modern dance.Saturated with academia, she taught at Boston Ballet for eleven years, and performed in their Nutcracker, until sidelined by injuries. She makes her living teaching at Fresh Pond Ballet in Cambridge, MA. She says, “Now is the time for fresh voices in poetry and fiction. I’m looking for a new constellation.


The tall man unfolds
a cloth and spreads it 
like a bed on icy ground
he says, “Lie here
and I will come to you.”

his face is shaded
by something inside him
an echo a warning
and I hold myself apart
because the cloth is

too much like a sheet
too much like a grave
too much like death
and nothing like
my beloved
who doesn’t have  
a shadow face
or cloud blank eyes

I walk away slowly
while he stands there
gesturing as if
to a warm soft place
sprinkled with roses
but I know he will
wrap me in bitterness
fold that last piece
over my face

--Nina R. Alonso

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

8th Annual Jewish Poetry Festival at Temple Sinai, Brookline, MA


2017 JEWISH POETRY FESTIVAL                   
Contact:  Deborah Leipziger, Curator                                    
Phone: 617-997-2701

8th Annual Jewish Poetry Festival at Temple Sinai, Brookline, MA
Sunday, March 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M.

   Deborah Leipziger, curator of the 8th Annual Jewish Poetry Festival, announced the event will take place Sunday, March 5 from 2-4 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 50 Sewall Avenue, Brookline, MA.

   Founded by Ms. Leipziger the Jewish Poetry Festival brings together Jewish poets as well as non-Jewish poets who write on Jewish subjects.
   Ms. Leipziger said, “Now in its eighth year the Jewish Poetry Festival has grown beyond Brookline’s borders and is a welcoming venue for not only our feature poets, but also for many people both Jewish and non-Jewish who have written poems on the central themes of family, community and Jewish life.  All are welcome to attend and to read their poetic work”

   This year’s featured poet is Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, named in 2016 by the “Forward,” a national Jewish newspaper as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.  Ordained by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2011, she is the author of four book-length collections of poetry as well as several poetry chapbooks.
   Since 2003 she has blogged as The Velveteen Rabbi and in 2008, TIME named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the Internet.  Her work has appeared in numerous online and print media.

   Rabbi Barenblat serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in western Massachusetts, which is affiliated with the Reform movement and is also part of the ALEPH network.  Since the spring of 2016 she has been interim Jewish chaplain to Williams College.
   Following Rabbi Barenblat’s reading there will be an open mic for people to read an original poem on the themes of family, community or Jewish life.  Open mic readers may sign up at the entrance.
   Master of Ceremonies for Festival is Professor Larry Lowenthal.